News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
September 22, 2017
Chicago Zoological Society Accepting Applications from Chicagoland Teens for King Conservation Science Scholars Program

Photos may be downloaded here:

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Caption for the photos
Teens who participate in the Chicago Zoological Society’s King Conservation Science Scholars program share facts about the animals and exhibits at Brookfield Zoo with guests.

     Brookfield, Ill. –The Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) King Conservation Science Scholars program offers a unique opportunity for area teens with an interest in animals, conservation, and community service to get involved at Brookfield Zoo. The program is now accepting applications for its fall/winter 2017 session.

During this program, engaging and interactive learning situations connect diverse high school students with wildlife and nature. They participate in at least 120 hours of community service, some coordinated through the program and the rest through their own action projects, which they initiate based on their individual passions and interests. They also participate in workshops on topics such as animal behavior observation, animal enrichment, and exhibit interpretation; undertake projects at Brookfield Zoo, getting a behind-the-scenes perspective of life at the zoo; take science elective classes; participate in workshops on career and college readiness; and develop leadership skills.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to experience something that goes far beyond the classroom,” said Luis Mendez, manager of high school and college programs for CZS. “These scholars gain knowledge, along with personal, professional, and public speaking skills. With the support of staff at Brookfield Zoo and dedicated community partners, teens are encouraged to pursue their passions with a conservation mindset.”

After at least one year of successful participation, scholars are invited to apply for college scholarships and paid positions at Brookfield Zoo, which are available only to them. All these experiences help prepare students for college, apply for jobs, and become leaders in their communities. The program currently enrolls 253 students from more than 125 high schools throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.

The King Conservation Science Scholars program was established with a lead gift from the King Family Foundation and is also currently supported by the Astellas USA Foundation; Baxter International Inc.; Nalco, an Ecolab Company; UL; Wells Fargo, Elkay Manufacturing, Motorola Solutions Foundation, and S&C Electric Company.

High school students maintaining a 2.0 GPA and entering grades 9, 10, or 11 can apply for the King Conservation Science Scholars program by visiting or emailing To apply, students must complete an application, submit an essay of at least 500 words describing an animal with which they think they share characteristics, and submit two letters of recommendation. Applications are due by October 27, 2017, and applicants will be notified of their selection by November 17, 2017.
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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