At the Greensboro Science Center, we are honored to welcome approximately 750 volunteers each year, giving a cumulative 36,000+ hours of their time. With a friendly greeting and a warm smile, our volunteers help us carry out our mission each day, educating our visitors about our animals and exhibits and inspiring them to learn more.
This week, we’d like to introduce you to Pat G.
Pat is an Aquarium/Zoo/Tier 2 Docent who has been volunteering at the GSC since February 2014.
Even though Pat lives in Virginia, she makes time to volunteer 2 to 3 times a week. She “loves marine life” and has “always wanted to work in a zoo” so she feels like at the GSC she gets the best of both worlds in one place.
Pat will willingly admit to anyone that she has been afraid of snakes her whole life. It used to be so bad that her husband had to cover up pictures of snakes in a newspaper for her to be able to read it! When she first started at the GSC she “couldn’t even walk down the hall past the [Herp Lab] windows or go near the snake enclosures in Discovery House.” Slowly, she reached a point where she could at least stand in front of the snake enclosures in the Discovery House so she could talk to visitors. She became brave enough to touch one now and then.
When the Herp Lab was put into the zoo rotation she was worried, but knew she could handle the turtles. With some encouragement from the volunteer staff, she began to slowly work with the snakes. After several training sessions with Stripe, Pat was able to actually hold him on her own for several minutes! She was so proud that she brought her husband to the GSC to surprise him with her progress and showed him how her feelings had changed towards snakes. She says that “I educate every day about the animals that live here and at the same time I was educated too.”
In her own words, “This truly is a great place to volunteer. I get to live my dream, handle some really sweet animals, and meet a lot of nice people. This place has made a big difference in my life.”