Arlington Youth Giving Back to Community Through Animal Services' Heritage Team Program
By Carol Weemes, Arlington Animal Services
Posted on February 14, 2020, February 14, 2020

Arlington Animal Services’ Heritage Team program, founded by Animal Services Manager Chris Huff in 2014, provides opportunities for junior high and high school students to actively volunteer at the shelter, compete for scholarships, and enjoy the reward of giving back to their community.

Arlington Animal Services’ Heritage Team program, founded by Animal Services Manager Chris Huff in 2014, provides opportunities for junior high and high school students to actively volunteer at the shelter, compete for scholarships, and enjoy the reward of giving back to their community.

“It brings joy to my heart to watch these students grow as a part of this year’s Heritage Team while volunteering with teams and growing diversity skills, showing great teamwork, and providing peer support,” Huff said. “The goal is a long-term positive effect that invests in the community through the enrichment of youth, while also benefiting homeless animals.”

Members of the Heritage Team become approved Animal Services volunteers and commit to dedicating a year of volunteering with the shelter. This year’s group spent educational time with Golden PAWS learning to make pet blankets, practicing professional one-on-one interviews with management staff, and volunteered in many other areas of the shelter.

The program concludes each year with a contest where each team member creates and designs a presentation to present about a heritage leader or a legendary event. Student performances in the contest are judged on professionalism, accuracy of depiction of the subject or subject matter, and the quality of the delivery of the presentation. Scholarship funds are awarded to the 1st through 4th place contest winners.

Heritage Team presentations are scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Arlington Animal Services Center. The first prize winner will deliver their presentation at the Black History Month celebration from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Southeast Branch Library.

Arlington Animal Services’ Heritage Team program, founded by Animal Services Manager Chris Huff in 2014, provides opportunities for junior high and high school students to actively volunteer at the shelter, compete for scholarships, and enjoy the reward of giving back to their community.

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