Junior Volunteer Program

The Junior Volunteer Program has an excellent reputation and benefits from young people who desire to perform voluntary community service in an organization devoted to building disability awareness and developing healthy and helpful relationships with dogs and their handlers.

The Junior Program focuses on three areas:

  • Education:  Learning about dogs, dog training, the Fidos for Freedom program. and building individual disability awareness for themselves and the community.
  • Public Service: Participating in such things as attending Therapy Dog visits with certified handlers, doing projects in the training center, making crafts for nursing homes, hospitals, and other locations, assisting staff with demonstrations, and helping at the annual “Tux and Tales Banquet” celebrating graduating Therapy and Service Dog teams.
  • Fun: How could you not have fun around dogs?  Besides helping out with our four-legged friends, the Juniors are key additions to facility celebrations, holding their own fundraising events, writing their own byline in the Fidos newsletter, and managing to take a laugh break in the conference room.

Who May Participate

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 12 and 17 years old
  • Live in the Baltimore-Washington area and be home schooled or attend middle school or high school in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.
  • A junior volunteer that reaches 18 years old, graduates from the program and can participate as an adult Fidos volunteer.

Meetings and Earning Community Service Hours

Participants earn one community service hour for each hour they work as a Junior volunteer. They can earn approximately 30 hours of community service per year.  Meetings are the first 3 Wednesdays of the month from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. from September through June.  If there are unique opportunities for other visits or events, it may replace a regular meeting night.

Activities

The junior volunteers are involved in many different activities at Fidos including:

  • Getting practical experience by working with Assistance or Therapy Dogs during the Wednesday night training classes. Junior volunteers are matched with participating dogs according to the canine’s skill level, temperament and availability.
  • Participating in classroom style instruction about dogs, disability awareness, first aid, etc.
  • Listening to Guest Speakers covering everything from First Aid, to acupuncture, puppy training, crisis response, and much more.
  • Practicing dog-handling situations through immersive role-playing scenarios.
  • Having fun helping with the Therapy dog testing process, social functions, craft projects, fundraising and creating a library with donated documents, books, and literature.
  • Helping the Office with required tasks
  • Dog walking
  • Helping at info booths during fund raisers
  • Assisting with general office duties

“Join the Juniors” Speakers Series

  • Puppy raising and subsequent training programs
  • Acupuncture and Massage Therapy
  • First Aid
  • Being on a Crisis Response Team
  • Service Dogs Roles and demonstrations
  • Therapy Dogs Roles and demonstrations
  • Community Outreach Programs
  • Why Service dogs are “Going to Prison”
  • Classes on the theory of dog training
  • Class in sign language
  • Discussions about disabilities and what that means

How To Apply

If you are interested in applying for the program, please download the following forms and email them to  JR-Fidos@fidosforfreedom.org or mail to our office at Junior Volunteer Program, 1200 Sandy Spring Rd., Laurel, MD 20707. Our Junior Volunteer Program Coordinator will contact you once she has received it.

If you have questions or require additional information, you may contact us or the Coordinator at  JR-Fidos@fidosforfreedom.org.

The forms you will need: