Zoo ALIVE (Active Leaders In Volunteer Education)


What is the Zoo ALIVE program?

The Zoo ALIVE volunteer program is an opportunity for teens to engage with zoo visitors by sharing their interests in animals and conservation at the Pueblo Zoo.  Zoo ALIVE teens are trained to be interpretive guides during an intensive, week-long course.    


ZooALIVE participants are taught how to handle ambassador animals and learn techniques for animal presentations and informal conservation lessons.  Additionally, they are taught about how zoos operate, what careers are available in the zoo world, and how zoos continue to evolve to provide the best education and inspiration to those who appreciate animals and nature. 


When does the training take place?


Due to the success and demand of this program, we will be holding two trainings in 2020:


Training for teens who WILL BE entering 7th-10th grades in the 2020-2021 school year will take place

March 23-27, 2020.  


Training for teens who WILL BE entering 7th-11th grades in the 2020-2021 school year will take place

June 15-19, 2020.  


Are there other trainings available?


Due to the staff time required and the limited availability of space, these are the only two weeks of training available in 2020. 


I'm available during the June training week but don't fall into that age group.  Can you make an exception and allow me to take part in training that week?


Zoo ALIVE training courses have been going on since 2012.  Over the years we have learned that these cohorts gain a better overall experience if the participants are closer in age to each other.  In grouping the ages more closely, we have found that the participants find trust within each other and can relate better with one another.  Therefore, no exceptions will be made with regard to the age of participants and the weeks they are trained.  


I LOVE animals!  All I want to do is play and cuddle with them.  Is this training for me?


We love animals too!  We also love education, public speaking, and conservation- which is much of what you will be introduced to and participate in as a Zoo ALIVEr.  Presenting animals to audiences at the zoo is certainly a fun aspect of being a Zoo ALIVEr, however, if you are uncomfortable speaking to people you are unfamiliar with or are uninterested in educating zoo guests about the environment, animal conservation and facts about zoos, this training may not be for you.  


What kind of time commitment is expected of me after I complete the week of training?


We require a minimum of 25 hours volunteered in the year following your training.  If the 25 hours are not met, we may ask you to retrain on certain aspects of the volunteer position or reevaluate your commitment to the program entirely. 


You are able to sign up for 2 1/2 hour shifts any day of the week you are available.  We understand most participants are in school most days of the week.  Our current Zoo ALIVErs sign up for their shifts on weekends, special event days and during long school breaks (spring, summer, winter).  Most of our teens are unable to transport themselves to the zoo, so make sure your parent or guardian is willing and able to provide you with transportation to the zoo so you can complete the minimum hours required.


OK!  I'm ready to apply... what does that entail, exactly?  


YOU (not your sister or brother or mom or dad) are required to answer essay questions in the first part of the application process.  This allows us to get a better understanding of why you want to become a Zoo ALIVEr and how you will help us in our zoo-wide mission to empower people to engage in conservation of animals and their natural habitat.  


We also require TWO reference submissions from non-family member adults.  This can include teachers, mentors, scout or 4H leaders, etc.  These references are due: TBD.  If the applicant does not have two references submitted by this date, they will not be considered for the program training.  The link to the reference form is below.  Please send that link to the adults you would like to submit references on your behalf.  


After applications have been submitted, they will be scored and applicants will be notified within a few days of their acceptance.  


Zoo staff will use an evaluation matrix to score applicants.  Ten applicants will be chosen.  They will be notified no later than TBD.  More detailed paperwork and releases will need to be completed and turned in with the training fee by TBD.    


There's a fee!?! What does it cover? How much is it?  Are scholarships available?  

Yep.  The cost for the weeklong course is $160 for zoo members and $175 for non-members. 

The fee covers the training, a volunteer shirt, water bottle, tote bag, and all other training materials. 

We have some fantastic support from the Moniker Foundation and the Southern Colorado Community Foundation that enables us to provide partial scholarships to our applicants.  Once you have been chosen to participate in the training and your scholarship need has been identified, you will be notified of your scholarship award.  Those determinations will be made no later than TBD. 



An application and two reference submissions will be required for applicants to the 2020 program.  Applications will be due by TBD, and teens will be notified of their acceptance by TBD.  The cost for the weeklong course is $160 for zoo members and $175 for non-members. 

Applications and reference forms are linked below.


Partial need-based scholarships are available.  Fill out the scholarship application below to be considered.  Applicants chosen will be notified TBD. 


Please email Heather with any Zoo ALIVE program questions at hdewey@pueblozoo.org 


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Pueblo Zoo  • 3455 Nuckolls Ave.  •  Pueblo, CO 81005  

Phone: 719-561-1452  Fax: 719-561-8986


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Our mission is to empower people to engage in conservation of animals and their natural habitat.