Americorps Promise Fellow
For Immediate Release
Sue Kirchoff, College of Veterinary Medicine, 612-624-3781
U of M Raptor Center Teams Up with AmeriCorps to Reach Underserved Youth
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (Jan. 12, 2005) - The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota has joined forces with Americorps to bring educational programs with live raptors to minority and low-income children. An AmeriCorps Promise Fellowship has been established at the center. Jennie Bell, a 2002 graduate of Connecticut College in New London, Conn., has been named the center's first AmeriCorps Promise Fellow.
" The new post will allow us to reach out to traditionally underrepresented audiences, specifically children of color and children from low-income families, thereby enhancing our 30-year history of serving the Minnesota community," said Lisa Koch, director of education at The Raptor Center.
Over the next year, Bell and The Raptor Center will work toward increasing academic success among targeted youth by providing educational experiences with live raptors. The Raptor Center will also establish a volunteer program for adults to mentor young people and encourage them to get involved in their communities and explore careers working with animals and the environment.
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage Americans in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Members serve through more than 2,100 nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based organizations. AmeriCorps Promise Fellows serve for one year with national, state, and local organizations, coordinating activities designed to support children and youth. The Raptor Center partnered with the AmeriCorps Promise Fellows Statewide Initiative to establish the position.
"The addition of an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow marks the beginning of an innovative new chapter at The Raptor Center," Koch said. "We are very excited about the opportunity to connect with these kids."
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota specializes in the medical care, rehabilitation, and conservation of eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons. In addition to treating approximately 800 birds a year, the program provides training in raptor medicine and surgery for veterinarians from around the world, reaches more than 150,000 people each year through public education programs and events, and identifies emerging issues related to raptor health and populations. A program within the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, The Raptor Center is supported by private funds.
In her work as an Americorps Promise Fellow, Jennie Bell introduces children to live eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons. Photographs are available by appointment. Please call Lisa Koch at 612-624-3261 to arrange a photo opportunity.