Already a VolunTEEN?
The Kansas City Zoo VolunTEEN program empowers teens to become community leaders in conservation, while instilling workplace values.This comprehensive, year-long program promotes personal and professional development of teenagers so that they become leaders in animal science and conservation education.
We are seeking mature, responsible teens with an aptitude for leadership. Applicants should enjoy working with children, and should be interested in animals and conservation. VolunTEENs are required to lead discussions and demonstrate activities to groups of children and adults, so good communication skills are a must. Enthusiasm, confidence and a positive attitude are required!
We seek applicants who are:
- Self-motivated, friendly, and outgoing
- Like being outdoors in ALL kinds of weather
- Are interested in animals, nature, and conservation
- May be considering a course of study in animal health, zoology, biology, education, or not for-profit business management
VolunTEEN applicants must:
- Be in the 8th-11th grades at the time of application
- Complete, in its entirety, the application packet
- If invited, attend group interviews. Interviews scheduled for Saturday April 11th, 2020.
- Pass a background check
- Pay $30 tuition (this covers costs of training materials, uniforms and background check)
- Attend a MANDATORY orientation/training session (accompanied by at least 1 parent/guardian)
What is the time commitment required for VolunTEENs?
VolunTEENs sign up for hours that fit their schedule.
Summer (June 8- August 14):
- Shift times: Monday- Friday 8-4
- Minimum 80 service hours (about 5 days per month during the summer)
- VolunTEENs are not permitted to volunteer during the weekend in the summer.
Fall (October 1- Dec 31):
- Shift times: Mon-Sun, 9:30-3:30
- Minimum 18 service hours
Spring (January 1 – May 31):
- Shift times: Mon-Sun, 9:30-3:30
- Minimum 18 service hours
- VolunTEENs are required to attend a monthly meeting throughout the year. These meetings are held on the third Sunday of every month, generally from 3-5pm. At the meeting, volunteers receive training for upcoming volunteer opportunities, leadership skills and learn about current events and happenings at the Zoo or with the environment.
- VolunTEENs are asked to donate their time for at least two weekends days in October to assist with fundraising efforts.
What are the next steps?
Fill out and submit an VolunTEEN Application
- Application period will open January 6, 2020
- New VolunTEEN applications will be accepted until March 15th, 2020 – no exceptions. Only completed packets will be accepted. Due to the competitive nature of this program and in fairness to those who comply, only applications submitted by the March 15th deadline will be considered. Those who do not meet the deadline or are not invited to interview are encouraged to try again the following year.
- This form must be sent by mail to the Kansas City Zoo (Attn: Sara Cooper, 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO 64132) or hand delivered to the Zoo Education Department; we cannot accept this form via email.
Come to our VolunTEEN Open House!
- February 9th 1-2pm
- Our VolunTEEN Open House is for potential VolunTEENs and their parents! We invite you to the Kansas City Zoo to learn more about the program, ask questions, and meet current VolunTEENs. You must bring a parent and register to attend the event.
- You are not required to attend our Open House to be considered for the program.
- Group interviews will be held at the Zoo on Saturday, April 11th 2020.
- Group interviews will be held in 2 sessions, 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. All applicants are required to attend one group interview session, no exceptions.
- There are a limited number of positions, so not all applicants can be accepted into the program. We hope that you will find the application and interview process valuable, even if you are not accepted. Final selections will be made and applicants will be notified in April 2020.
We expect a lot from the young adults in this program. It is rewarding for us and can be life-changing for the teens who rise to the challenge. As a part of teaching professional development skills, we ask you to encourage your teen to complete application materials and communicate with Kansas City Zoo staff with minimal input from you.
Rookie VolunTEEN Summer Opportunities
Trailblazers are first year VolunTeens that interact with Zoo guests of all ages by leading educational activities, presenting animal biofacts, and educating the public about conservation.
Veteran VolunTEEN Summer Opportunities
Junior Keepers get down and dirty! They get hands-on experience working directly with animal keepers in various animal departments around the Zoo.
- This is the most competitive track of the VolunTEEN program, and not all VolunTEENs will be accepted as Junior Keepers. All VolunTEENs interested in being a Junior Keeper must fill out a separate application and interview for a position every year. You are not guaranteed to be a Junior Keeper at any time in your VolunTEEN experience.
- Training: Two days of additional training is required for all accepted Junior Keepers. Training will be held on June 6-7th, 2020.
- Negative TB test is required.
Junior Interpreters educate Zoo guests about animals, conservation, and nature. They use various techniques to present conservation messages to guests such as interpretive carts, on-stage shows, and live animal presentations.
- Training: One day of additional training is required for all accepted Junior Interpreters. Training will be held on May 31st, 2020.
- During Spring and Fall seasons, all VolunTEENs complete their hours by being Junior Interpreters on grounds.
Junior Counselors work with our Zoofari Adventures summer camps, helping campers (ages 5-12) explore the world of animals through Zoo tours, crafts, games, and activities.
- Training: At least one day of additional training is required for all accepted Junior Counselors. Training will be on June 8th, 2020.
- Junior Counselors are required to volunteer from 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday, during their selected week(s) of camp.
Still have questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org