Meet Our 2018/19 Mutt-i-grees National Student Ambassadors!

///Meet Our 2018/19 Mutt-i-grees National Student Ambassadors!
Category: 
Student Ambassadors
Submitted by: 
The Mutt-i-grees Team

The 2018/19 school year is shaping up to be one to remember as we have selected 16 of the best and brightest students to represent the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum as our National Student Ambassadors. Through community building and volunteerism, these dedicated young adults will put their imaginations to the test to come up with their own unique solutions to helping homeless shelter pets.

From East to West, our Ambassadors come from all walks of life and each individual brings to the table their own ideas of what it means to be an involved citizen and a supporter of animal welfare. Students will spend their year creating and overseeing service learning projects, fundraisers to aid local shelters, as well as taking up various leadership roles in both their communities and schools. We cannot wait to see what each National Student Ambassador has in store and will continue to support them in their efforts to further the Mutt-i-grees mission!

Meet The Ambassadors

Jayden Holloman, 10
PS 596X – Bronx, NY

Always eager to volunteer to take care of school dog, Izzy, Jayden is a caring and passionate student who has received great benefits from the NYC Comfort Dog Program himself. From writing songs about Izzy to educating his fellow classmates about the program, Jayden has already proven that he makes a great ambassador both for Mutt-i-grees and animal welfare. Jayden’s goal is to volunteer for the Bronx Zoo to educate people on the positive impact animals can have on humans.

Gaby Valverde Alvarado, 16
Stepping Stones Museum for Children – Norwalk, CT

Gaby sees the value in teaching children how to treat others with respect and dignity, as it may help prevent future animal abuse and neglect. With the assistance of her dog, Peluche, Gaby has been teaching these very lessons at Stepping Stones and hopes to expand on her pet-friendly teachings as one of the Mutt-i-gree Student Ambassadors.

Arsheya Jaishiva, 11
Stepping Stones Museum for Children – Norwalk, CT

Arsheya is motivated to teach her community the importance of adoption and how beneficial pets can be to one’s well-being. Her goal is to get others to visit their local shelter and help the millions of dogs in them to find forever homes. Arsheya also aims to produce a video highlighting the benefits of adoption for both dogs and humans alike.

Madison Kaplan, 13
Stepping Stones Museum for Children – Norwalk, CT

Madison has gotten involved with Norwalk PAWS, a local shelter near Stepping Stones which often brings adoptable dogs to reading events, giving students a chance to gain reading confidence as well as increases their odds of being taken home. She aims to continue her work helping dogs and cats find loving homes and would like to produce a play highlighting shelter pets.

Charlee Torres, 5
Fenton Charter Leadership Academy – Sun Valley, CA

At five years old, Charlee already has plans to promote a culture of self-confidence and teamwork within her school and community. From creating posters to having guest speakers at her school, Charlee has already proven herself to be a leader and an impressive ambassador.

Gracie Burnside, 13
Curtis Inge Middle School – Noble, OK

Last year, ambassador Gracie participated in many great initiatives with their local shelter including spay/neuter programs and reading to shelter dogs. With the goal of becoming a vet in mind, Gracie hopes to help tag pets before storm season and create PSAs to promote spay/neuter in her community.

Olivia Casey, 13
Curtis Inge Middle School – Noble, OK

As a previous ambassador, Olivia has led numerous initiatives in her community and looks forward to another year of education and volunteerism with her local shelter. The joy she feels when helping animals in need is the primary driver in her continuing her hard work. This year, Olivia is focusing on making winter shelters for feral cats and participating in the Shelter Buddies Reading Program.

Danielle Iannelli, 12
Schuyler-Colfax Middle School – Wayne, NJ

An active member of her school’s MUTTS Club, Danielle frequently shares the importance of approaching a dog properly as well as the helpful jobs they can do for humans. Danielle’s goal for the year is to encourage her fellow classmates to join her in volunteering at their local shelter and encourage others to not litter, as it can affect wildlife in a negative way.

Ian Burleson, 12
Harris Middle School – Spruce Pine, NC

Ian developed an instant and strong bond with his school’s dog, Ruby, and has had a big involvement in her training. He uses his affinity for all animals to educate his fellow classmates on how to build a bond with their own pets and how to communicate properly with all animals. Ian’s goal for the year is to create posters to promote adoption and animal welfare.

Mac Meek, 17
Paul G. Blazer High School – Ashland, KY

A proud ambassador for the past two years, Mac has worked alongside AARF to volunteer at numerous fundraisers, auctions and NSALA’s Tour for Life events. From 5Ks to candlelight vigils, each event has positively impacted his local Kentucky shelter and the resident pets. This year, Mac plans to continue his great work and further the Mutt-i-grees mission to promote shelter pet adoption and increase the number of no-kill shelters across the nation.

Rosie Ferrell, 18
Cascia Hall Preparatory School – Tulsa, OK

As a second-year ambassador, Rosie has experience in living the Mutt-i-grees lifestyle. She created a four-week long class called “The Love for Dogs” which caters to the four basic principles of the curriculum and spreading awareness of animal well-being and safety. This year, she aims to host more fundraisers as well as smaller events throughout the year like a “kiss for a cause” photo booth and partnering with local restaurants to receive donations for her local shelter.

Durnik Schumacher, 17
Clinton School District – Clinton, AR

Durnik has been taking Mutt-i-grees classes since the sixth grade and is no stranger to lessons in empathy and compassion toward people and animals. After years of volunteering at his local shelter, Durnik is expanding his role in animal welfare by becoming a leader in his school in community as a student ambassador. Durnik’s goal this year is to create dog toys and similar projects with his classmates to benefits homeless animals in his area.

Abigail Walker, 12
Shell Bank Intermediate School 14 – Brooklyn, NY

Abigail views all animals as friends, therapists, and protectors. She recognizes that each and every animal deserves to be treated with equality and dignity. Abigail’s greatest dream is to see all animal shelters closed and have no animal suffer or receive abuse of any kind. This year, Abigail would like to create a YouTube channel where she can contribute videos to increase awareness of the plight of shelter pets and raise money to help her local Brooklyn shelters.

Niamh Monnery, 13
Churchill School and Center – New York, NY

Prior to being selected as a student ambassador, Niamh has organized blanket and towel collections for her school and would like to continue similar fundraisers on a larger scale. Having experienced first-hand the benefits of a school dog, Niamh would like other students to receive the same benefits on their mental health by promoting school dogs to other private schools in the NYC area. She also plans to get involved with NSALA to have mobile rescue events at her school.

Theodore Yochum, 13
MS 88 Peter Rouget School – Brooklyn, NY

Theodore is a hardworking student with a love for all animals and a passion for promoting their protection. As a strong public speaker, Theodore feels he can use his talents to be the voice for helpless animals. On top of the many fundraising events he has planned, Theodore also wants to hold speaking engagements where he can educate his fellow classmates on animal rescue and the many ways each person can get involved.

Tyler Saal, 10
Hancock Place Elementary – St. Louis, MO

A motivated student and school leader, Tyler has proven himself to be an excellent representative for the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum. Tyler takes care of his own dog, Mater, and as a result, he displays the skills necessary to care for pets and teach others to do the same. Tyler has plans to serve as a role model for his school and encourage other to study animal welfare as a means to understand what compassion and care is truly about.

Luca Durazzo, 7
P.S. 1 The Tottenville School – Staten Island, NY

Since his school adopted their school dog, Banjo, Luca has learned how to be a responsible, loving pet owner and works each day to educate his peers on the importance of compassion toward pets and people alike. He began his duties as a student ambassador before even being selected by encouraging adoptees to choose shelters over pet stores. Luca’s goal for the year his to run donation drives as well as making banners and signs to promote helping all animals in need.

Kyle Doodnaught, 13
MS 88 Peter Rouget School – Brooklyn, NY

Kyle’s passion for animals has motivated him to become a student ambassador and he has some big plans in store for the school year. From volunteering to educating his fellow students on how to get involved in animal rescue and adoption. His goal is to create fundraisers and donation drives to benefit nearby shelters.

Sophia Suazo, 7
Fenton STEM Academy – Sun Valley, CA

Sophia understands the importance of pet adoption and the numerous benefits it has for both the family adopting and the animal getting a new home. Sophia plans to start a kindness club which will teach students to be kind to all animals. Her goal for the year is to have each student spread messages of kindness until the entire school is part of the movement.