The theme for this year’s World Oceans Day is Youth: The Next Wave for Change. By participating in Shedd Aquarium’s work-study program, Chicago-area teens can become just that: the change that they want to see in others. Over the course of their time at Shedd, the teens in the work-study program develop into role models for the guests that they interact with daily in the galleries and exhibits. As they become members of the workforce, they also discover their own passions and how to share them with others.

Shedd’s work-study program offers Chicago-area teens three fun and unique paid learning opportunities either during the summer or on weekends during the school year. Each opportunity supports the aquarium’s mission of connecting people to the living world, inspiring them to make a difference.

Teens can dig into gardening by joining our Green Gardeners. This group works part-time with Shedd’s horticulturalist. By connecting the work they do in Shedd’s award-winning gardens back to the animal collection, teens can deepen guests’ understanding of the nature that is right in their backyards.

Our Shedd Ambassadors work-study experience brings teens face to face with the daily operations of a cultural organization. Teens develop their customer-service techniques while incorporating the aquarium’s mission into their everyday actions, such as making sure guests can find their favorite animals and offering tips for interesting new connections with the collection.

Young Naturalists teens connect with guests in a variety of ways. They engage the younger audiences with play, they connect guests to exhibits and animals through stories, and they build off visitors’ past experiences to help them make more personal connections to nature.

Our summer work-study teens will begin their Shedd journeys soon, and we can’t wait to see what new connections and actions they inspire. Join these future change-makers and the rest of the Shedd family to celebrate World Oceans Day this year.

Posted by Renee Birk, learning engagements

The teen work-study programs are sponsored by the Sara Lee Foundation.