First off, I am not one to talk about myself unnecessarily. When Rosie approached me to write about what inspired me to work at CHCI, I was a little bit apprehensive.I mean, what can I possibly say that will differ from seemingly countless individuals that have graced this building in the past.Some, certainly, had much greater inspirations than I. However, I am here to make a difference, not just in myself, but in others too, as small as that difference may be. I believe that education is the key to change. How can I, given the opportunity, pass up the chance to possibly change another individual’s outlook by sharing my experiences that led me here to CHCI?
My background is in Biology, an interest that stemmed from a love for animals that I have harbored since I was a child.As I grew into an adult I knew that in someway I wanted to help animals. At first I wanted to be a veterinarian but having experienced that life as a veterinary technician, I found that path would not be right for me.It was not until I opened a book entitled ‘Next of Kin’ that I felt a connection with a life-path that seemed like something that I could emulate.I am sure that many of the individuals that are reading this are familiar with the book and, indeed, it had been recommended to me on several occasions.For once in my adult life I found commonality with someone where a love for animals and a mind for science coincided.
When it came time for me to move on from my career as a veterinary technician, I began to apply to graduate programs locally in Massachusetts.As I applied, I remembered the connection I had had with the author of ‘Next of Kin’ and looked into Central Washington University where Washoe and her family had ended up in the book.Naturally, I applied to the Primate Behavior program, got in, and here I am.Without a doubt my story is not unique, my actions not astounding, in fact, all that I hope while writing this is that someone will read this and think about where they are and where they want to be.Maybe they will see themselves doing something greater than they are now and breaking through the restrictions that keep them from making a change in their life for the better. Whether it be applying to a program further away from home, volunteering in a shelter or sanctuary, or even, just, educating themselves on a new passion.
Visit our online store, the Chimporium, to purchase a copy of Next of Kin (rated 5 stars on Amazon). One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Chimporium giftshop help support Friends of Washoe, a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to the welfare of the chimpanzees who live at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute.