A Job With a Purpose
It’s a busy morning at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, and Angelica, 19 is making the rounds with a cart of dog kibble and wet food. She starts down one aisle, following the feeding chart and making sure that each dog gets the right mix of wet and dry food. Angelica greets each of the dogs by name and offers a cheerful round of hellos to each one.
Throughout the morning, volunteers pop in and out taking each dog outside for a run in one of the large grass and bark fields adjacent to the shelter. After Angelica feeds Rosco, a 2 year old who has been at the shelter for about a month, it’s time for him to go out for a run. Angelica grabs the leash, has Rosco smell me through the door, and leads us out to the field adjacent to the shelter.
Rosco has a tremendous time running, digging, and smelling absolutely everything before bounding back to Angelica for a rub down. “I always give each dog a full body massage at the end of their run, it’s probably why they all like me so much here.” It’s clear, in speaking with Angelica, that the dogs are just as important for her to please as any boss has ever been, and this is much more than just a summer job.
After working in retail and the food industry, Angelica feels like she’s found her calling giving back, “it’s hard for me to have a job without a purpose.” She loves taking care of the animals at the shelter, and most of all, knowing that her work is serving others.
Angelica describes volunteering at Animal Shelters in Santa Rosa and Lakeport, in addition to having worked at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter last summer through the same program she is enrolled in today, the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps & SAY’s YouthLink Program. “This is definitely the kind of job I want to keep while I’m figuring out my career.” Angelica may not have her sights set on veterinary medicine right now, but a lifetime of helping others? It’s a sure bet.