In the beginning of the year, we set out to reach more students than ever before to get them interested in environmental science. Our workforce, like many trades, is experiencing a shortage of employees. And we thought if we could reach them when they’re young to show them all the different cool jobs in our industry, then maybe we can impact that candidate pool in the future.

Franklin Pest Solutions participated in Purdue University’s Career Fair this past spring and met dozens of students who are studying biology and animal science, entomology and IPM. It was awesome to hear what they liked about what they’re learning and what their goals were after undergrad work was completed. The research was impressive! We saw some friends at this career fair who also had booths to try and recruit students. Ultimately, that’s how we found out about the Columbian Park Zoo Teen Program!

What is the Zoo Teen Program?

The Columbian Park Zoo Teen program is designed for students 14-17 years of age who have a desire to explore animal-related careers, including zookeeping, conservation and wildlife education. This structured volunteer program is a wonderful opportunity to build a variety of transferable job skills such as customer service, time management, professional conduct, leadership and more. Teens with an interest in any career field are encouraged to apply. If your teen has a particular interest in animal-related careers, then this will especially benefit them through multiyear participation!

Better Together

The Columbian Park Zoo has been a local Lafayette partner of ours since we were called “Cochnower’s Pest Control”. That’s going back some years! They have a number of fun themed events every year and we usually sponsored their Halloween one. When we learned about the program they have in the summertime for teenagers, it fit so well with our mission to reach more students to educate them about various environmental and animal science careers. (Yes, insects are animals, too!) It just made so much sense for us to get involved and support!

Establishing, building and maintaining partnerships within the community is so critical in being a trusted resource to the public. We believe this allows for trust, open communication, and generational relationships that will stand the test of time.

See what Courtney Nave, Assistant Education Director at Columbian Park Zoo, has to say in this video below!

Going Behind the Scenes with the Teens

Anna, one of Franklin’s Marketing Coordinators, had the opportunity to go behind the scenes on a recent visit to the local Lafayette, Indiana zoo to see what the program was all about. Courtney introduced Anna to a few of the teens. The teens explained their roles at the zoo and answered all of Anna’s questions about their favorite things about the experience and what their day to day routines were like.

franklin sponsors zoo teen program

Follow along on our socials (Instagram | Tik Tok | YouTube) to see their stories in this multiple-part series!


Interested in becoming a Zoo Teen?

Zoo Teen Eligibility:

  • 14-17 years of age on June 1 of the year of the application
  • Trustworthy, reliable and responsible
  • Able to accept supervision of adults and ask for assistance when needed
  • Courteous to his/her peers, the general public, volunteers and staff
  • Willing to learn new skills and get his/her hands dirty
  • Willing to engage with others through public speaking and visitor interactions
  • Able to share the zoo’s wildlife conservation and education messages with enthusiasm
  • Able to present a neat and well-groomed appearance
  • Comfortable working with patrons of all ages and backgrounds
  • Able to demonstrate a positive attitude at all times
  • Supportive of Columbian Park Zoo’s mission

To be added to the zoo’s interest list for the 2024 Zoo Teen season, please email to receive updates when registration becomes available early next year.

franklin sponsors zoo teen program

We love sharing these amazing partnerships with you and the communities we serve!

Your Friends at Franklin

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Whether you've got wasps, rodents, spiders (or you name it), we can assist with your pest situation. Drop us a line to tell us what's going on and we'll schedule your pest control services!

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