ZooTeens are a select group of teens, 14-17 years old, who explore their interest of animals, nature and conservation through volunteer service at the Phoenix Zoo. ZooTeens share their interests with our Zoo guests at a variety of interpretive stations throughout the Zoo, provide mentoring and educational opportunities to Camp Zoo participants, and are eligible to work with and learn from our world-class animal keepers.
What are the requirements to be a ZooTeen?
Teens must be age 14 to 17 as of September 1 of the application year. After following the application process and being selected, they are required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours during the ZooTeen season, undergo yearly TB testing and attend all required orientations and meetings to retain their ZooTeen status.
Becoming a ZooTeen is a special commitment to both the Phoenix Zoo and your team. Applicants that are unable to meet a minimum of 40 hours within an eight month period are discouraged from applying.
What does a ZooTeen do?
ZooTeens primarily spend their time interacting with the Zoo public through games, crafts, activities and the presentation of animal artifacts. Occasionally, ZooTeens may also present some small animals to Zoo guests to demonstrate care-giving or natural history concepts. Each year, ZooTeens are equipped with values-driven service and training. As ZooTeens progress through their years in the program, there are opportunities for further career exploration through higher level ZooTeen positions as well as workshops and seminars.
What are the benefits of being a ZooTeen?
Over the years, Zoo staff have been able to observe ZooTeens develop a keen sense of responsibility, self-confidence, public speaking abilities and career skills. In addition to gaining valuable professional skills, ZooTeens receive the same Zoo benefits as our adult volunteer group.
Who is eligible to be a ZooTeen?
Any teenager between the ages of 14 and 17 and has an interest in the Zoo, the natural world and helping their community is welcome to apply.
How to Apply
Every year, we receive hundreds of applications with only a limited amount of ZooTeen openings. Please carefully follow these instructions to ensure that your application is considered!
As of March 1, 2016, applications are open.
Step One: Teens must complete the ZooTeen application to be considered for the 2016-2017 year.
Step Two: In addition, a minimum of two recommendation forms are required as part of the completed application packet. We suggest that recommendation forms be completed by teachers, school staff or community leaders.
Important: Each form must be placed in a sealed and signed envelope by each recommender. The sealed recommendation envelopes should then be placed in a larger envelope and then mailed together by the applicant directly to the Zoo.
Step Three: Forward completed application packets (form and mailed recommendations) to the ZooTeen Supervisor at the Phoenix Zoo. All application materials must be received by May 31.
Application packets are accepted during the months of March, April and May (any packet received outside of this time period is not eligible for consideration). During the month of June, all applications are reviewed and a limited number of candidates demonstrating an interest in sharing their enthusiasm for the Zoo and natural world will be selected for a brief in person interview. Interviews are conducted in the month of July and final ZooTeens for the upcoming season will be selected from those interviewed and notified by the beginning of August.
Timeline for ZooTeen Program
The ZooTeen program is an eight-month program that officially operates from September through May. Limited positions are available for established ZooTeens each summer. Prospective ZooTeen applications are accepted during the months of March, April and May.
The 2016 ZooTeen application season is open.
All applications and reference forms have a hard deadline of May 31, 2016.
September – Start of ZooTeen season and Fall Semester
December – Fall Semester ends
January – Spring Semester begins
March – New applications now accepted
May – New application period ends, end of Spring Semester
July – Interviews scheduled for successful applicants
August – Orientation for new and returning ZooTeens