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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    JuniorCats reaches out to teens

    ASUA Zona Zoo Executive Director David Roost, Marketing Director Raul Ponce, Development  Director Hersh Goel and Liason Director Christina Searby discuss JuniorCats.
    ASUA Zona Zoo Executive Director David Roost, Marketing Director Raul Ponce, Development Director Hersh Goel and Liason Director Christina Searby discuss JuniorCats.

    Zona Zoo officially launched JuniorCats, a new community outreach program co-sponsored by ASUA and Zona Zoo, at a press conference Thursday.

    The JuniorCats’ goal is to expose eighth graders to a different part of college life by pairing an eighth grade student with a Zona Zoo member.

    As a result of the new program, ten Apollo Middle School students will join the Zona Zoo excitement this Saturday when UA takes on Oregon State.

    Along with a tour of the Arizona Stadium, the eighth grade students will get a tour of campus, followed by a structured program about both academic and spirit life at the UA.

    The JuniorCats program is looking to make the mentor-student relationship long-term. The JuniorCats are already scheduled to go to the Sacramento State versus UA baseball game on February 21. Along with planning for this year, the JuniorCats program created a timeline that will update the kids with admission requirements to make sure they are working to their fullest potential throughout their high school careers. The program is beginning the while the students are in middle school because of the high drop-out rate in some Tucson area high schools.

    “”The students who were nominated (for the JuniorCats program) were not necessarily the highest achieving students at the school; They may not know exactly how to reach their potential,”” Zona Zoo liaison director Christina Searby said.

    Zona Zoo has big plans for the JuniorCats after the initial pilot program, which will run throughout the year, possibly expanding it to other Pac-10 universities.

    “”Students are taking the initiative to give back to the community. I’m not aware of any collegiate section that does this,”” said David Roost, Zona Zoo executive director.

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