Class of 2020: Meet the OHS Youth Volunteer Grads

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OHS celebrates youth volunteers and proudly honors those graduating during these challenging times.

Oregon Humane Society’s youth volunteer program offers opportunities for ages 12-17. We are incredibly grateful for our youth volunteers and proud to introduce the Class of 2020 as they prepare to embark on their future endeavors.

 

Maura Kelley
St. Mary’s Academy
524 hours volunteered since July 2015

Maura has served as the grooming teacher, a Team Lead, camp counselor and an AAT assistant. After becoming involved in the youth volunteer program, she challenged herself to take on more responsibility and leadership roles. She is an amazing mentor and has trained countless new youth in the program. She trains youth volunteers on how to properly groom shelter dogs for their new forever homes. When Maura is not helping her peers, she loves to spend time walking dogs (particularly the high energy and shut down ones).

When Maura is not volunteering at OHS, she loves to nap, hike with her dog and spend time with her family. Next year, she will attend Colorado College and hopes to volunteer in their local animal shelter. She plans to travel to every continent, spend time in nature and eventually come back as an adult volunteer or foster parent for OHS!

 

Dee Anna Bricker
Westside Christian High School
400 hours volunteered since July 2014

Dee Anna dreamt about being in the youth volunteer program ever since she attended a field trip to OHS with her second grade class. She is not only a committed youth volunteer, but also a Team Lead and the Junior Pet Pals teacher. She mentors and trains all new youth volunteers in the program, patiently making everyone feel welcomed and leading by example. As the Junior Pet Pals teacher, Dee Anna shows other youth volunteers how to work with the more challenging dogs in the shelter – educating them on dog training and enrichment. She always saves time to visit the bunnies in the shelter as well!

Dee Anna is also involved in cheerleading and cross country. She loves to cook, bake, read, learn other languages and hang out with her dogs. Next fall, she will attend Wheaton College in Illinois. Dee Anna wants to be a pedagogical (study of teaching) psychologist and dreams of making learning easier for students with different learning styles. She hopes to eventually return to OHS as an adult volunteer!

 

Anika Becker
Cleveland High School
247 hours volunteered since December 2014

Anika has been a dedicated youth volunteer, taking every class OHS offers to improve her skills with shelter animals. For the past three years, she has been a Team Lead on Sunday mornings. Anika has trained countless new youth volunteers, helping with orientations and hands-on training as a mentor and trusted friend. Despite being mildly allergic, her favorite place in the shelter is the cat colony rooms (especially during kitten season). Anika also loves baking dog treats and bonding with her fellow youth volunteers during shifts.

When she is not volunteering, Anika spends most of her time on social advocacy. She is a part of several nonprofit social justice organizations that support youth. She also loves to sew and has an interest in videography. Next fall, Anika will attend the University of San Francisco (depending on current COVID-19 circumstances). She one day hopes to work in a school district where she can support students of color.

 

Jada Jackson
Benson Polytechnic High School
225 hours volunteered since November 2015

Jada became a youth volunteer to help her community and share her deep love for animals. When volunteering in the shelter, Jada can usually be found sitting with the dogs – winning over the shy ones with her calm and kind demeanor. When she is not with the dogs, she loves to make toys for them. Jada has taken every class at OHS – from Dog Safety and Handling to Feline Enrichment – ensuring that she can help the animals as much as possible during her time with them.

When Jada is not volunteering at OHS, she enjoys cooking, baking, swimming and painting. Jada dreams of one day becoming a veterinarian and has job shadowed the veterinarians at OHS to gain insight into the profession. Next fall, Jada will attend Portland Community College and transition into the adult volunteer program at OHS!

 

Austin Fontenot
Gresham High School
210 hours volunteered since April 2016

Austin has a special way with the animals at OHS. He has taken every class to develop his animal handling skills and better understand how to care for the shelter pets. Austin loves to sit in the kennels with the animals, and has a particular knack for comforting shy dogs. He is patient, kind and very committed to helping the animals at OHS – often spending an entire shift comforting one shelter pet in need.

In his spare time, you can find Austin playing video games and Pokemon. He dreams of going to the Pokemon Café in Tokyo. Austin would love to work with animals or in a video game store.

 

Simone Shapiro
Grant High School
195 hours volunteered since January 2016

After visiting OHS with her grandma as a child, Simone fell in love with the mission and attended OHS summer camp twice before becoming a youth volunteer. Simone loves socializing all the animals at the shelter, but the dogs are her favorite. She loves creating a bond with different dogs during her shift – taking them out to the runs to play, sitting with them in their kennels and giving them baths. Simone is a kind, gentle person who is always willing to help those around her.

When Simone is not at OHS, she enjoys film photography, watching movies and hanging out with her friends. She loves to study and learn foreign languages, including Japanese, Spanish and Italian. In the fall, Simone will be starting at the University of San Francisco. She dreams of one day moving to Italy and starting a restaurant for people and animals alike (like Ratatouille)!

 

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