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 to 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, please click here.

Applications for the 2020-2021 program year are now closed. Please read below for more information about how to apply for the 2021-2022 program year!

Important Upcoming Dates:

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

  • Volunteen Program Virtual Open House* (held via Zoom): Saturday, November 14, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sunday, December 6, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • New Volunteen Application opens: Friday, January 1, 2021
  • New Volunteen Application due:  Sunday, February 28, 2021 by 5 p.m.
  • New Volunteen Interviews: March 27 and 28, 2021. Only one date is required for invited interviewees.
  • New Volunteen Orientation: Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Only one date is required for accepted Volunteens.
  • “The Zoo and You” training for all Volunteens: There are two parts to Volunteen training.
    • Online training will begin in May 2021 for accepted Volunteens and will be due by June 1, 2021.
    • In-person training will take place Monday, June 7 – Friday, June 11, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
    • Each day of in-person training is required, and make-up trainings are not offered. All Volunteens must attend all days.

*Volunteen Program Open Houses are for virtual events for potential Volunteens and their parents! We invite you to join us via Zoom to learn more about the program, ask questions, and meet current Volunteens. You must bring a parent and register to attend the event.

The registration links will be posted soon.

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 to 17 years old by June 1, 2021 and be enrolled in high school (or equivalent program) for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Volunteens must 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. Scholarships are available for qualified applicants.
  • 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 one orientation date with a parent.
  • All Volunteens are required to complete online training prior to June 1 and then attend a week-long “The Zoo and You” training at the start of the summer semester. Each day is required, and make-up trainings are not offered. Failure to complete any portion of training will result in loss of position in the program.


  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 link to the Volunteen application will be posted here when it opens on January 1, 2021.

  1. Submit the Science Teacher Reference Form.

One of your science teachers who knows you best should complete the Science Teacher Recommendation. 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 28, 2021 by 5 p.m.

A link to this Google Form will be posted here when it opens on January 1, 2021.

  1. Submit a letter of recommendation.

Submit one letter written by an adult who knows you well and is NOT a family member and is NOT the same teacher who completed your Science Teacher Recommendation. Examples of potential recommenders includes teachers of other subjects, 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 will use a Google Form to upload their letter. A link to this form will be posted here when it opens on January 1, 2021.  Letters of recommendation are due on or before February 28, 2021 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 28 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! Please contact Katie Anderson, Supervisor of Youth Volunteers, at teenvolunteer@zooatlanta.org with any questions!

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