Name: Chase Pickering, age 19
The Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots Program
The scope of my volunteer work:
When I was 12 years old, my mom and I received our wildlife rehabilitation license and began rescuing orphaned and injured small mammals, waterfowl and birds of prey. I am also a wildlife photographer and hope that my images serve as a "visual voice" to support wildlife and habitat conservation efforts locally as well as internationally. I began a Roots & Shoots group at my high school when I was in 10th grade because I wanted to help people, animals and the environment.
My first (or favorite) pet:
A horse named J.J.
The animal I am most like is:
Lion because sometimes all I want to do is R.O.A.R.
The animal I would take to:
- The Oscars: I would NOT take a great ape (chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo,or orangutan) because I believe the entertainment industry creates the wrong public perception of these wonderful beings.
- Meet my parents: I wish my parents could see giraffes chilling in the savannahs of Africa.
- The movies: A wombat
- On a trip around the world: My dog, O'Malley
Jane Goodall and my grandmother, Mimi, who is a dedicated conservationist
The most rewarding aspect of volunteering:
Being able to release an injured or orphaned wild animal back into the wild where they belong.
The most challenging:
Sometimes I think of all the problems in the world and can be overwhelmed. But then I think about all the other young people around the globe who are changing the world for the better and I know I'm not alone.
The moment I knew it was all worth it:
When I released the first injured hawk that I rehabilitated back into the wild and saw him fly off into the distance, peacefully landing on a weeping willow tree.
In a perfect world:
People would make simple acts of compassion every day that would help people and animals alike. Imagine if every individual planted a tree, turned off their lights when they weren't home, or conserved a few gallons of water every day. Every individual makes an impact on this planet — we should all strive to make it a positive one.
In my world:
I see many young people that have hope for the future and that are getting out there, speaking up and taking action for animals in their respective communities and around the world.