Volunteen Program

The Volunteen Program promotes the personal and professional development of teenagers so that they become leaders in animal science and conservation education.

The Volunteen Program is designed for students ages 14-17. It is an opportunity for teenagers to have fun volunteering at the Zoo while learning about the environment, wildlife conservation, community engagement, and professionalism. Through this program, volunteens will learn communication and customer service skills, as well as develop their independence and responsibility. Volunteens serve in a wide variety of service areas to help prepare them to pursue careers in the zoological field.

Volunteens work toward a minimum of 160 service hours over the course of a program year (June – May). To learn more about the many experiences Volunteens have as part of the program, click here.

Important Dates for 2020:

Mark your calendars for these dates! Contact the Volunteen Supervisor at 404.624.5882 or teenvolunteer@zooatlanta.org with any questions.

  • Volunteen Preview Nights*: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 and Thursday, January 9, 2020.
  • New Volunteen Application opens: Friday, November 1, 2019
  • New Volunteen Application due:  Saturday, February 1, 2020 by 5 p.m.
  • New Volunteen Interviews: Saturday, March 7, 2020 and Sunday, March 8, 2020. . One date only is required for invited applicants.
  • New Volunteen Orientation: Saturday, March 21, 2020 or Saturday, March 28, 2020.. One date only is required for selected candidates.
  • The Zoo And You training for all Volunteens: Monday, June 1 – Friday June 5, 2020. Each day is required, and makeup trainings are not offered. All Volunteens must attend all days.

*Volunteen Preview Night is for potential Volunteens and their parents! We invite you to Zoo Atlanta to learn more about the program, ask questions, and meet current Volunteens. You must bring a parent and register to attend the event.

Register Now

14-17 years old


  • Applicants must complete all application steps to be considered for the program.*
  • To be eligible for the program, Volunteens must be 14 – 17 years old by June 1, 2020.
  • Volunteens commit to 100 service hours in the summer semester (June 1 – August 31), 30 hours in the fall (September 1 – December 31), and 30 hours in the spring (January 1 – May 31).
  • Volunteens pay a $30 orientation fee to cover a name badge, uniform T-shirt and access card.
  • All Volunteens must have a current TB test on file for each year of active service by June 1.
  • All accepted New Volunteens are required to attend an orientation with a parent.
  • All Volunteens are required to attend a week-long “The Zoo and You” training at the start of the summer semester. Each day is required, and makeup trainings are not offered.


1. Complete an online application.

All new applicants must fill out an online application form with minimal help from parents or others. Please be sure to double check all contact information, including emails, cell phone, and parent contacts, as we will use this information to contact you regarding your application status! All new applicants should carefully and thoughtfully answer all essay questions independently. 

The application can be found by clicking here

2. Submit the Science Teacher Reference Form.

One (1) of your science teachers who knows you best should complete the Science Teacher Reference – Google Form.  If you are enrolled in homeschool, your parent can complete this form if they are your science teacher. To be considered, DO NOT have a teacher of any other subject fill out this form.  You or your teacher can mail, fax, or email this form to the Volunteen Supervisor. Science Teacher Reference Forms are due on or before February 1, 2020 by 5 p.m.

3. Submit a letter of recommendation.

Submit one (1) letter written by an adult who knows you well and is NOT a family member and is NOT one of your teachers. Examples of potential recommenders includes coaches, family friends, religious leaders, employers, extracurricular activity leaders or others! A letter of recommendation must be in letter form (do NOT use the Science Teacher Reference Form for this).  Your recommender should  use the Letter of Recommendation Google Form. Letters of recommendation are due on or before February 1, 2020 by 5 p.m.

You may also use the Volunteen Application Checklist to ensure you have submitted all required materials. You are not required to submit the checklist with your application. You will receive an email confirming your application is complete when all materials have been received. Please allow a few days after submitting your materials for your application to be processed.


Due to the competitive nature of this program and in fairness to those who comply, only applications submitted by the February 1 deadline will be considered. Those who do not meet the deadline or are not invited to interview are encouraged to try again the following year.

Thank you for your interest in the Volunteen Program at Zoo Atlanta! Contact the Volunteen Supervisor at 404.624.5882 or teenvolunteer@zooatlanta.org with any questions.

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