Volunteer Spotlight: Wayne Y.

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.

Meet Wayne Y, a volunteer who has been with the GSC for four years!

Wayne Y.

I have been a volunteer for four years, beginning with the Titanic Exhibit and as a Zoo Docent.  I currently volunteer once or twice a week as an aquarium docent and nearly every Friday as a diver in Shark Reef.

 

My first degree was in Marine Biology and I was a teacher for 21 years, before going into real estate, so science and especially marine science, is in my blood.  I love sharing my love of these creatures with the public, particularly kids.

 

On my birthday this year, the aquarists invited me to help them feed the octopus.  It was one of the most exciting moments in my time at GSC. When I think back to a funny event that has happened during my time volunteering has to be on April 1st, April Fool’s Day, of this year, which also happened to be one of my first aquarium dives.  Since I was fairly new to the tank, there was another diver with me.  Just prior to the dive, I slipped a tooth from a huge prehistoric shark called a Megalodon (much larger than anything living today) into my wetsuit sleeve.  As we were diving, I called out to my partner “Hey, look, I found a shark’s tooth!” and showed him the tooth.  We both laughed, but when I turned to the window, the kids’ eyes were as big as saucers.  “Happy April Fool’s Day!”

 

When I taught science, I always loved that “Ah ha” moment when a student learned or experienced something new and exciting.  I see that at GSC whenever someone touches a sting ray for the first time or sees me diving inches away from a shark.  The excitement they feel is like electricity that lights me up too.  I also love being associated with the hard-working men and women who work behind the scenes to make those experiences possible.  I still work full-time, so volunteering is my “break time” that recharges my batteries.  Thank you GSC!

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