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From left: Ethe Hemphill (Niagara Falls), Alanah Harris (Niagara Falls) and Sydney Schwenkbcek (Niagara Falls).
From left: Ethe Hemphill (Niagara Falls), Alanah Harris (Niagara Falls) and Sydney Schwenkbcek (Niagara Falls).

SkillsUSA students help out shelter dogs for community service project


Mon, Jan 30th 2023 10:15 am

Submitted by Lisa Bielmeier

Orleans/Niagara BOCES Public Relations Director

Three SkillsUSA members, who also happen to be in the animal science program at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center, chose to do a thoughtful community service project for our furry friends.

Ethe Hemphill, Alanah Harris and Sydney Schwenkbcek decided to combine their passion for animals and baking, and make homemade dog treats for two local animal shelters: Save A Pet in Newfane and Heart of Niagara in Lockport.

“We did research and were very impressed with how well they take care of their animals, so that is why we chose them,” Ethe said. “We wanted a project that was not too costly, but would benefit dogs who are looking for forever homes. These dogs are, for the most part, in cages most of the day; and we wanted to give them some comfort and something that would make them happy. We also thought it would be a good way for staff and potential new families to bond with them by giving them a treat.

“Unfortunately, a lot of shelters don’t get the resources they need, so any way we can help we are glad to. Both organizations were very happy that we wanted to do this.”

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization focuses on teaching teamwork and leadership, and encourages its members to serve their local community.

The three students joined forces with Jessica Kronenberg’s food service program to make the biscuits.

“We were thrilled to be able to help out with such a worthy cause,” Kronenberg said. “These students are obviously very dedicated to their community service project, and it was a great joint effort.”

Using a recipe created by animal science teacher Seth Muck, the students spent a morning making the biscuits.

SkillsUSA member Alanah Harris said it was a lot of fun working together for the project: “I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was little, and it feels great being able to help out these animal shelters and give back to the community. We are benefitting these dogs’ lives.”

Classmate Sydney Schwenkbcek said her passion is animal conservation, and she was very excited to be helping out with the project: “I love the thought of saving animals. We really would love to see these dogs find forever homes, and help these shelters with that goal. It is very exciting to be part of this.”

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