TU freshman Sara Borowy has spent her last three summers with an unlikely group of friends—a penguin, a tortoise and a crocodile. Borowy met her companions as a volunteer at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, where she assists at the zoo or travels offsite with its mobile education unit.
Borowy received the 2015 Teen Volunteer of the Year award for her dedication to the organization. Staff members from various departments nominated Borowy to recognize her work as an education junior interpreter, a junior keeper and an animal handler.
“What made me feel really good is knowing that the people who I have been helping out really appreciate what I’m doing,” the biology major says. “Working with them for so long, you really start to build a connection with everyone.”
Most of Borowy’s work is with the Animal Embassy, the zoo’s travelling collection of about 60 animals that visit schools, events and daycare centers to teach children about animals.
Borowy has known she wanted to work with animals and the environment since childhood, an interest which helped her choose biology as a major.
One of her most memorable moments was when she was able to share her love of animals with a young girl who approached her with questions.
“After our long talk and exploration of different animals and ideas, this child was so enthused and inspired,” Borowy recalls. “She exclaimed to her mom that she now wanted to save the animals and work with animals when she grows up.”