Cutting apples to feed baby birds and cleaning opossum and squirrel cages led to a unique opportunity for Lone Star College-CyFair student Edwin Campos to enhance his resume for a future career in film.
Campos volunteered at the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition (TWRC) Wildlife Center on Hammerly Boulevard as part of a Service Learning project in Professor Aurora Lugo’s biology class for non-science majors.
LSC-CyFair students have been serving 16 hours or more at TWRC since 2013. Student participation helps with this not-for-profit organization’s mission of promoting environmental conservation through public education and rehabilitation of Texas wildlife.
TWRC Executive Director Roslyn Even said there are a variety of volunteer opportunities depending on the season. Students help with day-to-day operations of the center, such as putting together pamphlets used at community events, chopping apples and washing dishes or work in the animal care programs weighing baby squirrels and opossums, cleaning cages, changing bedding and processing food.
“A lot of young enthusiastic people volunteer with us, but Edwin was one who really stuck out,” said Even. “It didn’t matter what I told him we needed him to do; he was always more than happy to do it. He never complained or rolled his eyes. He always had a smile on his face and would say whatever y’all need.”
At the college’s spring semester Service Learning luncheon, Even sat with Campos, who plans to transfer to the University of Houston and ultimately have his own film business. Impressed by the professional look of and pride he took in the videos he shared, she asked him, and he agreed, to make a video for TWRC.
“I truly enjoy capturing images that preserve special moments in time,” said Campos. “I thought showing the overwhelmingly positive attitude of the volunteers, combined with the cute wildlife they help, would be a visually appealing project for others to enjoy.”
His main goal was to accurately promote the center through the unique perspective of the people who are close to TWRC and emotionally invested in the video.
To produce the video that describes all of the center’s programs and wildlife, including a clip on handling injured wildlife, Campos worked with TWRC’s Baby Bird Program Coordinator Dani Riggs.
“I thought Edwin did a really good job,” she said. “He was prepared with his questions and clearly put a lot of thought into it. He was enthusiastic and interested in everything, not just the coolest of the birds. I appreciated the quality of the videos.”
While TWRC plans to use the video on their web site to raise community awareness and attract potential volunteers, Even said they have another video in mind with a new concept to use when seeking corporate sponsors and Campos has agreed to help.
“My volunteer experience at TWRC was very meaningful. It really helped me sympathize for wildlife a lot more than before, and the special video benefitted me career-wise as well,” he said. “TWRC gave me the opportunity to make a video for an organization for the first time, so it's a valuable experience that I carry with me.”
The TWRC Service Learning project is part of Lugo’s and Professor Shaunte Hulett’s BIOL 1407, BIOL 1409, ENVR 1401 and ENVR 1402 classes. However, the TWRC volunteer opportunities benefit ages 12 and up and those of varied interests.
Riggs said high school and college students not only fulfill volunteer service hours at the center, they get hands on experience working with a diversity of animals as well as learn basic medical procedures, such as giving injections and administering medication.
For information on TWRC, go to twrcwildlifecenter.org. For information on registering for fall classes that start Aug. 28 at LSC-CyFair, go to LoneStar.edu/registration.