Heritage Team Program Registration Begins June 1
By Carol Weemes, Arlington Animal Services
Posted on May 30, 2019, May 30, 2019

 Heritage Team members participating in dog socialization and pet therapy in the Animal Services play yard/agility course

Attention animal-loving junior high and high school students looking for a great way to not only volunteer at Arlington Animal Services but to also participate in a program that supports ethnic diversity.

The Heritage Team Program was founded in 2014 by Chris Huff, animal services manager, when she realized a disparity in the number of African American youth participating in the shelter’s youth volunteer program.

Since Huff’s implementation of the initiative, at least a dozen youth have participated, experiencing the rewarding feeling of volunteerism during their year of service and commitment to the program. Some have gone on to graduate from high school and continue to serve as volunteers at Animal Services.

Students participating as a Heritage Team member are mentored by Huff as they devote a year of learning about responsible pet ownership, shelter operations, and giving back to the community. As a Heritage Team member, these dedicated youth participate in a contest that concludes with scholarship awards.

Each student chooses a legendary event or heritage leader to research and prepare a presentation about to deliver to their teammates, family, and other supporters of the program. Scholarships are awarded based on the students’ participation in the program and the professionalism, quality and accuracy of the content of their presentations. Past winners have presented on legendary leaders such as George Washington Carver and Frederick Douglass, and historical events.

Registration for this year’s Heritage Team Program begins Saturday, June 1. Students currently in junior high or high school interested in participating should email animalservices@arlingtontx.gov, or call 817-459-6269.

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