Donor Magazines

2018 More Home to Roam Donor Magazine

Click here, or the image above, to read the 2018 More Home to Roam Donor Magazine.

2018 Spring Donor Magazine

Click here, or the image above, to read the 2018 Spring Donor Magazine.

2017 Fall Donor Magazine

Click here, or the image above, to read the 2017 Fall Donor Magazine.

2017 Donor Magazine

Click here, or the image above, to read the 2017 Donor Magazine.

2016 Donor Magazine

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Donor Blog

Evan’s Story

What did you do for a summer job in high school? Many teenagers see a summer job as a place to make new friends at best, a necessary evil at worst. How do you remember it? What if you had the chance to do a job you enjoyed so much you were willing to do it without pay?

Evan Schimberg’s dad, Dan Schimberg, president of Uptown Properties, asks that each of his kids get a job by age 16. The senior Schimberg says, “If you have integrity and work ethic, you’ll do fine in life, no matter how you do in school.”

Evan’s strong interest in animals led him to the teen volunteer program at the Zoo. He has developed the life skills he would at a summer job, while also doing something he loves through volunteerism.

Evan says, “Animals are something I’ve always been interested in so I like being able to teach people something new about them. I want to try and help people get the same experience and enjoyment that I’ve always gotten from the zoo.”

Evan and his siblings have been visiting the Zoo throughout their lives, as their parents are active supporters and Dan serves on a committee to help folks plan their legacy giving at the Zoo.

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The ZooTeen program offers young people like Evan valuable experience in visitor engagement, public speaking, and interpretation. Volunteers gain confidence, knowledge, and leadership among peers.

Evan cites his dad as a primary influence for his hard-working nature. “He’s very driven,” says Evan. “And he’s encouraged me and all of my siblings to keep integrity and work ethic in mind in everything we do.”

ZooTeens are provided with a wide variety of experiences. They begin by learning interpretation skills and other visitor engagement activities. Over time, they can progress to habitat interpretation and animal care. A select few advance into leader roles, which focus on peer leadership and animal husbandry. “As you progress you earn more responsibility and you grow along with it,” explains Evan. Now in his fourth summer, he has moved up the ranks, to an Animal Handler, and helps coach newer teens in visitor engagement.

Through his passion for animals, he says he’s become more comfortable meeting new people and speaking with the public, skills he can apply to any number of careers. And he’s always excited to meet people who share his passion. “On these trips and around Cincinnati, it feels really good to meet other people out there are interested and excited to save species and protect the environment.”

Next fall, Evan will head to college. He wants to study computer science and tie that skill in with his passion for animals in some way. “Regardless of what I major in the zoo has been a big part of my life, and I’ll take these experiences with me,” he notes.

It seems a summertime commitment like volunteering at the Zoo pays off in many ways. The rewards will keep paying off throughout life. “Volunteering at the Zoo has given me a lot of opportunities to meet new people and get great experiences even before I was old enough to have a summer job.” His advice to other young people considering applying for the teen program is to go for it. “You’ll grow a lot as a person,” he promises, “and learn a lot about yourself.”