Internship-style Day Camp
Concludes with Culmination Ceremony
Zoo Experience, a one-week internship-style day camp held July 22nd
– 26th at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, wrapped up on
Friday with a culmination ceremony for the four young women who participated in
three Big Bear High School students – Bibiana
Castillon, Jasmine Moreno, Nicole Sannes, and one Yucaipa High
School student Karly Vizzini, worked
behind-the-scenes with the zookeepers at Big Bear Alpine Zoo learning how to
prepare food and create enrichments for the animals. The students also explored
careers in animal sciences by interacting with guest speakers each morning. And
at the conclusion of each day, they worked with a journalist to create a daily
blog that featured their photography and views on the camp.
Karly Vizzini wanted to see what it
was like to work at a zoo. “This internship has allowed me to learn and receive
advice from people who share the same passions as myself and who work in my
desired career field. The one thing that everyone keeps repeating is...get as
much experience as possible. They explained that your experiences are just as
important as your education. I feel truly blessed to have received this wisdom
that I can apply to my future career,” said Vizzini.
Nicole Sannes wanted to participate
in the Zoo Experience because of her plans on becoming a veterinarian. She was able to work with the zoo’s Vet Tek,
Krystal. “It was very interesting to
shadow Krystal because of my interest in veterinary medicine. Treating zoo
animals is very unique because there in not a lot of published materials on
exotic animal care. Shadowing Krystal provided wonderful insight into the daily
life as a veterinarian at a zoo,” said Sannes.
Bibiana Castillon and Jasmine Moreno were interested in the
program because of their love of animals in general. “This zoo experience has
taught me many new things,” said Castillon. “There are many interesting skills
you can learn while being at the zoo that you can use later in life,” said
Zoo Experience program seeks to
break through barriers for women and girls in science, technology, engineering,
and math, while exposing them to careers in the field of animal sciences.
Currently, women account for only a minority of managerial positions in zoos.
AAUW is dedicated to inspiring women to become leaders and
opening their minds to STEM fields that they may have not considered as viable
The Zoo Experience is the
result of a collaboration between the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, The American
Association of University Women (AAUW), and San Bernardino County. To see the
student blog go to: http://bigbearvalleyaauw.blogspot.com/
AAUW, whose mission it is to advance equity for women and girls
through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research, is creating this
unique program in conjunction with the Big Bear Alpine Zoo and hopes to sponsor
the four, high school girls in 2019.