CCA’s flexibility allows graduating senior to gain hands-on career experience working with animals
The internship program gave Megan a head start in her chosen field before graduating from high school.
Since she was a little girl, Megan of Bethlehem knew she wanted to work with animals. Now she’s a graduating senior with CCA and has already begun pursuing her goal. Before joining CCA in second grade, she’d been having problems learning and staying focused in school. CCA provided Megan with the personalized attention necessary to start building her dream career.
In May 2017, she started volunteering with Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue, a horse and companion animal rescue in Quakertown. When the rescue saw how natural she was with the animals, CCA coordinated with the barn manager to set Megan up for an internship.
CCA’s online education program offered Megan the flexibility to volunteer whenever the barn manager needed her help, so she could gain experience in multiple aspects of animal care at Last Chance Ranch. “Through CCA, I could do my lessons whenever. I could re-watch recordings of live lessons if I had one scheduled during those times. Through being able to do that, I could come in to work the 8-11 a.m. shift.”
While Megan most enjoyed working with horses, she learned how to care for a variety of animals at the rescue. Last Chance Ranch houses sheep, llamas, horses, birds, dogs, pigs and other animals. Megan shadowed a local veterinarian, helping to regulate diets and administer shots. She worked with the farm’s dentist, as well as assisted with trimming sheep and cow hooves. Collaborating with the other volunteers taught Megan how to interact with different people and educate others about the animals.
Megan’s mom, Melissa, appreciated the educational opportunities CCA was able to offer her daughter. “She got a good education from CCA, as well as the volunteer experience at Last Chance Ranch. Every day she came down here, she came home with something new she’d learned.”
Operating a farm or running a rescue involves more than just the animal and veterinary work. Megan went behind the scenes of the business, learning the financial and administrative tasks that keep the office running smoothly. CCA facilitates this type of hands-on experience for students, which is invaluable as they figure out their skills and interests.
According to Jackie Burke, the Executive Director of Last Chance Ranch, “She’s learned every aspect of working at the ranch, I think – besides driving a tractor!”
Following her graduation from CCA, Megan will be pursuing certification in training and working with horses at Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center. She plans to attend a nine-month program and earn her certification to become a horse trainer. Following that program, Megan said she wants to continue her education at Delaware Valley University and become a veterinary technician.
Megan is glad she received an education that supported her interests and gave her the tools she needs to succeed after high school.
“CCA worked for me because it gave me the flexibility to start volunteering and interning in a field that is my future career,” Megan said.