Three years ago 12 year old Lilly Davis-Bosch started out as one of our Caring Kids, attending the weekly after-school program and learning about companion animals, wildlife, farm animals as well as environmental issues.
As she learned more about the many issues facing species across the globe and began helping out in an unofficial capacity, HEART asked Lilly to become a Caring Kids Counselor, something she has excelled at. Lilly helps with set up and clean up, checks in participants, assists youth with service projects, helps with teaching parts of the program, reminds students the safe and respectful way to interact with dogs and cats during time with animals, and so much more.
We asked Lilly to tell us a bit about her experience with Caring Kids, and why she was inspired to help animals.
Why did you first decide to participate in the Caring Kids program at Animal Haven?
When I first decided to participate in the Caring Kids Program I was in fourth grade and I really wanted a dog. My parents weren’t sure that getting a dog would be a good idea…but they realized that having a pet would be a valuable opportunity for me to learn more about animals and how to care for them. We adopted our dog, Sadie, from Animal Haven about a year later.
Why did you decide to become a Caring Kids Volunteer?
After two years of attending Caring Kids, I started to come early to help set up and would stay after to clean up. Then they asked me to “officially” help as a counselor the following year when the program was shifted for younger kids ages 5-8 years old.
What do you like about volunteering at the Caring Kids program?
I not only like being around animals, but I also love teaching and helping kids learn about animals and making a change in the world. It is rewarding to see kids being inspired by what they have learned.
Can you describe some of your favorite experiences from being involved in the Caring Kids program?
One vivid memory I have was an early project for which we were each asked to make a poster about a topic of your choice relating to animals. I chose “training” as my topic, but remember being so eager to see what everyone else chose so that I could not only share my research, but also learn from everyone else’s.
Have you made any changes in your life based on what you have learned by being involved in the Caring Kids program? If so, what changes?
One of the biggest life changes I have made is becoming a vegan. The HEART/Caring Kids program opened my eyes to problems happening in the world and ways in which we can all help to make a difference.
We have heard that you plan on participating in YEA Camp this summer. Why did you decide to enroll in that summer camp?
I decided to participate in the YEA Camp (which stands for Youth Empowered Action) because I think it will be an amazing experience. I will be able to meet many new people with the same fundamental goals as me: humane education, animal rights, protecting the environment, and being compassionate about making the world a better place.
Do you have plans for what you want to do in the future?
I have many ambitions. I would like to help people throughout my life. I possibly want to be a doctor or nurse, but I also want to continue working with animals as well as spread the understanding that all species should be treated equally.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved with helping animals?
I would say that you should do what you want to do in life! And be inspired by what you do! Being involved and working with animals is a great experience to have and reflect back on. It is something you will always keep in your heart.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us about yourself, your interest in animal welfare, or the Caring Kids program?
Two of my favorite quotes are: “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and “Thoughts don’t make change happen, actions do.”
These quotes are inspiring to me because if you have a goal and want to make a change, it doesn’t matter how old you are – just how committed you are to getting involved and doing it. We all have the power to make an impact on the world.