HELPING TEACHERS INSPIRE COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS, PEOPLE & THE ENVIRONMENT
Meet Maya Smith – Alberta SPCAs 2015 Humane Student Award Recipient
At just eight years old, Maya is making a big difference in her community. She’s been a devoted member of Madonna Catholic School’s Earth Club for the past three years and has been involved in numerous projects that help animals, people and the environment. Just some of the activities include a Rice Krispies fundraiser, letter writing campaign to protect Alberta’s Grizzly bears, spreading awareness about endangered species, and raising money
for the World Wildlife Fund. Maya is also spearheading a drive for needed items on the Edmonton Humane Society’s wish list and wants to deliver them before Christmas.
She has applied lessons learned in School and at Earth Club in her own home. She has taken the initiative to manage her family’s recycling program, and encourages family members to conserve water and energy through mindful daily practices such as short showers and turning off lights.
A dedicated volunteer at the Edmonton Humane Society, Maya volunteers in several departments with her mom. She enjoys the small animal department helping with many pocket pets and exotics from hamsters and rabbits to birds and snakes. She also helps out in the cat
rooms, cuddling, brushing, playing and giving them much needed socialization. She enjoys the special event programs like Pets in the Park, working in the education tent or assisting with the photography events. She feels her work is important because she can make a genuine difference in the lives of those animals. She takes a special interest in the older animals, noting that they seem to be more lonely, sad and quiet, and by themselves more than the younger pets. She spends extra time with these animals, giving them the love and attention they deserve.
A kind, caring a polite student, Maya is always positive and respectful towards staff and peers, offering to lend a hand when she sees a cause. Her Earth Club mentor Sharon Mittlestead said that “Maya exhibits true empathy for animals and a respect for all living things in general.” Maya aspires to be a veterinarian or a marine biologist when she grows up to continuously learn about and help animals.