Of course there are! While many teen animal volunteer vacations are designed around tackling immediate environmental disasters (think: cleaning up the seafront after an oil spill), Global Leadership Adventures works with local partners and organizations that help to create a lasting impact on native animals and the habitat that sustains them. Teens who learn to develop their passion for wildlife conservation in high school can take their experiences and channel them into future efforts as they go to college and beyond.
One mother of a GLA student on a wildlife conservation program explained what made the experience so fundamental to her daughter as a high school student still figuring out what she wanted to do with her life.
“Her experience in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands has helped Megan look into her career path, and further solidify her passion to help in environmental needs throughout the world. It has given her the passion to bring her newfound discoveries and knowledge to college with her, where hopefully she can influence others to make a conscious change in their lifestyles, for the betterment of different environments around the globe.”
Local wildlife programs for teens can be great opportunities, but they’re often limited by the native wildlife found in your home region. What GLA offers is the chance to work with elephants in their native Thailand, or an incredible diversity of species in the Galapagos. Seeing the state of wildlife habitat in places that aren’t as well preserved as those in non-developing countries can bring a new perspective on the challenges of wildlife preservation, and encourage teens like you learn how to aid animals even while still in high school.
This student from GLA’s Preserving Nature’s Wonders™ program sums up why a volunteer vacation for teens working with animals is something that will stay with you long after your journey. “Galapagos most certainly pushed outside my comfort zone, but that was why I was there. In no time the Galapagos Islands felt like home. On the islands, we volunteered pulling invasive species that were choking out the tortoises’ natural food. It was hard work and my hands grew tired, but being able to look back over the wilderness we helped clear was a rewarding feeling.”