Aquarium Offers Youth Work Experience Program

July 16, 2008

Teenagers earn college credit and gain work experience as Aquarium volunteers

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is looking for teenagers to join its Youth Work Experience Program. Young people have an opportunity to explore the fascinating world of marine science and share their knowledge as Aquarium interpreters. Youth volunteers spend 24 hours in training learning about marine science, marine animals, and conservation. Successful completion of training can earn young people 3 transferable college credits from the Oregon Coast Community College and high school credit in some high schools as well.

“Our Work Experience participants are a valuable component of our Volunteer Team here at the Aquarium,” said Chris Stanbery, Aquarium Youth Programs Coordinator. “These exciting programs offer young people the chance to gain experience in many different areas of aquarium operation including interpreting to the public, working with the animals, behind the scenes and improving communication and public speaking skills. All of our programs offer the opportunity to work, learn, and be part of a great team,” said Stanbery.

Work Experience students acquire a variety of skills to expand upon their area of focus. They study the Aquarium’s marine animal collection and the Oregon coast’s natural history. After completing the training, youth volunteers work with the public as interpreters or behind the scenes with aquarium staff, working two 4.5 hour shifts a week, sharing their knowledge and skills with Aquarium guests.

Benefits include educational work experience, references, complimentary passes, and discounts in the Aquarium gift shop and cafe. After completing 50 hours of service, Work Experience students can apply for a membership to the Aquarium, which allows family members and one other guest. Students may receive credit toward graduation for their work in career related learning experiences including school-to-work, internships, technology based learning and service learning.

Stanbery encourages young people who would like to join the Youth Work Experience Program to apply. Enrollment is open now through August 22 and interviews will be conducted through August 27. Interested youths may pick up an application at the Aquarium, call 541-867-3474 x 5312 or email Chris Stanbery, Youth Programs Coordinator, at chris.stanbery@aquarium.org for more information.

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