2012 Patchogue Medford graduate needs support to travel to Thailand and volunteer with elephants and endangered species over the summer of 2013.
My name is Amanda James, I'm currently a freshman at SUNY Stony Brook University on the the Pre-Veterinary track. I've spent my life around animals, I've always had a passion for working with them and since I was a young girl I have had no doubt in my mind that I want to become a veterinarian. I've been volunteering in different programs with animals since I was in 7th grade; I've been at horse barns, animal hospitals, nature centers, and an animal assisted therapy program, and they've all given me such a special experience. It always astonishes me to see how compassionate animals are, how much they understand of what we do for them, and what they do for us as well. My time with them has presented me with a special insight into the animal-human bond that not everyone is fortunate enough to see.
I love animals of all shapes and sizes but my work with them has made me realize that my dream is to work with wildlife, specifically my favorite animal: elephants! Elephants are amazing and gentle creatures that desperately need our help! This brings me to my next adventure: a month long trip to Thailand! I'll be traveling with a volunteer program called International Student Volunteers (ISV); I leave on June 20th, 2013! ISV has three volunteer programs that focus on community development, wildlife conservation, and children development, and they are spread throughout six different countries. ISV is an outstanding program, their 2011 global achievements include: 220,000 volunteer hours, 27,614 hours teaching children various subjects, 8,570 sea turtle eggs protected and relocated, 26,773 hours surveying and monitoring native and endangered species, and 13,871 lbs of trash material collected. ISV also won the 2011 "Outstanding Volunteer Project" Award and was rated one of the Top 10 Volunteer Programs. My trip to Thailand consists of two weeks of volunteering with wildlife conservation and two weeks of "adventure travel" around the country. My first two weeks there with be spent at either an elephant sanctuary or a gibbons sanctuary to help with the daily cleaning, feeding, and bathing of the animals and "enriching" their lives in captivity. I'll also be informing the tourists and natives of the importance of our efforts to save the wildlife and how desperate the situation really is, and I'll be helping scientists study wild gibbons in the jungles of Thailand! The two weeks of the adventure tour consist of touring the country and learning about its history and culture. This trip will have such a huge impact on the future of Thailand's wildlife, they're quickly disappearing through poaching, the black market, deforestation, and mistreatment and it will bring me much closer to my dream of working with wildlife. The cost of the trip is $3,970, but this does not include airfare or travel necessities (passport, etc.), a quarter of the meals, or medical insurance. My goal for fundraising is $10,000 and I need everyone's help to reach it! This opportunity is once in a lifetime and there isn't a second chance for the animals! If you would like more information about my trip or my most recent endeavors, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to make a donation to help me reach my goal, you can do so through this website: http://www.isvolunteers.org/fundraising-donations
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