A BSc Zoo Management graduate from University Centre Reaseheath in Nantwich has been appointed Vice Chair of Chester Zoo’s new Youth Board.
Felix Rowan-Young and fellow board members, who were selected for their enthusiasm and dedication, will help to shape the future direction of the world famous zoo and further develop its appeal to teenagers and young adults.
The Youth Board works with the Board of Trustees and executive team to recommend ways the zoo can connect with young people. A key task is to develop exciting programmes for 18-25 year olds which will encourage engagement with wildlife and support the zoo’s mission to prevent extinction.
Felix, 21, who completed his degree this summer, was encouraged to apply for the prestigious position by Animal Science Curriculum Area Manager Yvette Foulds-Davis and was selected from a total of 100 applicants. The position is for a minimum of two years.
He said: “I’m looking forward to helping make the new programmes the best they can be and hope that I can encourage young people to stand up for the many species that are facing an uncertain future.
“I’ve enjoyed visiting Chester Zoo since I was young and more recently I’ve been using its archives as reference for assignments. I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to give something back.
Chester Zoo’s CEO Dr Mark Pilgrim commented: “We’re excited to launch the first ever UK zoo Youth Board. It’s a real step forward in engaging with the leaders of tomorrow. Working with vibrant young people is vital because they will be the ones who decide on the future of conservation. We hope that they will bring fresh ideas, challenge us to think differently and inspire our future direction.”
Felix plans to become a school or zoo educator and begins a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) in September.
As part of his degree he studied scientific communication and zoo education and worked as an Assistant Education Officer at Reaseheath’s mini zoo. He believes that this additional experience, plus support from his lecturers, helped his application for the Youth Board.
Yvette Foulds-Davis commented: “We’re delighted for Felix. His success in securing this role is testament to his dedication and hard work in progressing his skills and experience within the zoo sector.”
Another Reaseheath Zoo Management graduate, Jack Williams, Collection Manager at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, was also considered for a place on the Youth Board but just missed out on the final selection.
Photo credit: Tim Jervis Photography