Adult and Teen Volunteer Program
Volunteer Program Statement of Purpose: The purpose of the Akron Zoo volunteer program is to aid and assist the Akron Zoo in the areas of education and conservation through active participation in programs, special events, and public relations.
Volunteers play a key role in helping the zoo achieve its mission and strategic goals:
- Attendance Growth – enhance guest experience and provide quality guest service, community ambassador
- Mission Impact – education programs, roaming, conservation messages, citizen science volunteers
- Sustainable Business – hours of service donated, encourage people to visit, donation of skills and talents
- Facilities – participate in learn, feel, do activities, guest feedback, horticulture
Our group of dedicated individuals donates over 13,000 hours a year. That is a value of $279,000.00!
Adult volunteer program
The zoo’s adult volunteers participate in the following areas:
- Special Events
- Community Displays
Adult Volunteer Job Requirements:
- Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and must have completed high school.
- Must contribute a minimum of 25 hours annually in one of the areas of zoo functions.
- Ability to communicate effectively with the public is required.
- Excellent customer service skills are a must.
No formal training or background in education is required. Willingness to learn about animals and how to incorporate conservation education into the guest experience is required.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently not accepting adult volunteer applications. The next Information Session will be held on Aug. 1, 2021. Applications will be accepted beginning June 1, 2021. Please check this website for updated information.
Teen Volunteer Program
We are no longer accepting applications for 2021.
Jr. Interpreters use public interaction to help zoo visitors learn about animals and global conservation efforts. A Jr. Interpreter is friendly, enthusiastic, dependable and genuinely interested in people, nature, animals and conservation. It is necessary that teens are outgoing enough to initiate conversations with our guests, as Jr. Interpreters assist with programs, birthday parties and on-grounds activities to educate others.
Teen Program Benefits:
- Meet people with similar interests
- Accumulate community service hours
- Gain first-hand knowledge of various zoo careers
- Free zoo entrance when not on-duty (excludes family/friends)
- Discounts in zoo gift shop and Komodo Kingdom Café
Statement of Purpose:
To aid and support the Akron Zoo in the areas of education and conservation through active participation in on-grounds educational activities, programming, birthday parties and special events.
Teens must be between 14 and 18 years of age and entering 9th through 12th grade at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. No formal training or background in education or work experience is required. Willingness to learn about animals and conservation and how to relate this knowledge to the public is highly desirable. Ability to communicate easily and effectively with the public, as well as having excellent customer service skills, is essential for this position.
- A completed Teen Volunteer Application, including typewritten essay.
- Two sealed, typed letters of recommendation; at least one being from a teacher/administrator. (Home school students may use letters from someone other than a family member, such as clergy, coach, extra-curricular instructor, etc.).
Applications, essay and letters of recommendation forms are due by 3:30 p.m. on March 15, 2021. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
All candidates that complete the application process will be invited to attend the REQUIRED virtual Information Session with a parent or guardian. There will be one session on March 21 from 3 - 6 p.m. The information session will consist of program expectations and requirements and group interviews.
Teens that are offered a position will need to attend virtual training sessions in March and April. There will also be at least one in-person session held at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in April. Details will be given to those accepted into the program.
Jr. Interpreter Standards:
Once accepted, teens must follow uniform guidelines: wear a provided Jr. Interpreter uniform shirt, khaki or black pants or walking-length shorts, with close-toed shoes. Jr. Interpreters are required to contribute a total of three days per week with one day being a weekend day. This weekly total can be achieved by assisting in the following areas:
- On-Grounds Activities
- Off-Grounds Activities
- Special Events
Each Jr. Interpreter will be responsible for seeing that the above is carried out efficiently and in such a way as to be a credit to the Jr. Interpreter Teen Program and to assure the Akron Zoological Park’s continued growth as a viable community service.
Jr. Interpreter Program Fees:
There is no charge for training; however, successful candidates must pay dues of $50* to join the program. This fee helps defray the cost of Jr. Interpreter uniform shirt, name tag, water bottle, training manual, off-site field trip nd various program supplies.
*Scholarships are available. Please email the Education Department for details.
Education Department with additional questions.