'ZAP' teens launch zoo activity with boost from First Tech

March 23, 2021 - 3:56pm

The Oregon Zoo is inviting guests to “spring into action” with a new seek-and-find activity with a seasonal theme.

The activity, created by teens in the Zoo Animal Presenter program and presented by First Tech Federal Credit Union, can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

“Family-friendly scavenger hunts engage zoo visitors and inspire action to conserve wildlife and our natural world,” said Kimm Fox-Middleton, the zoo’s education manager. “We want to introduce young people to wildlife conservation, and First Tech’s partnership is helping us provide those opportunities and experiences.” 

The ZAP program is a three-year, paid Oregon Zoo internship primarily serving youth of color and youth from low-income families and providing mentored work experience.

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with the ZAP program and the Oregon Zoo, supporting critical STEM skills, community-building and long-term mentoring relationships,” said Nicole Frisch, senior director of community engagement at First Tech. “Paid youth internships are so critical to providing opportunities for career exploration, leadership development and financial capability, and the ZAP model provides demonstrated and sustainable impact for youth in our community.”

Since 1999, ZAP has employed more than 230 teens and reached more than 120,000 young people around the region.

“The ZAP program offers formative experiences for youth to connect with the natural world,” said Pam McElwee, ZAP program coordinator. “And at the same time, it helps strengthen the zoo’s ties to our community. It offers young people job skills and support to grow and learn while they educate others. Alumni have gone on to do some incredible things, with some pursuing careers in education, conservation and even comedy.”

More information about the ZAP program can be found here.