As a former educator, I get super-excited whenever I hear about programs that are empowering children and teens. So Unleashed, an after-school program in NYC that pairs middle-school girls and puppies who need help finding their “furever” homes, is something I’m overjoyed to spread the word about!
This 12-week program gets the students involved with all aspects of puppy rescue. In doing so, the girls are becoming aware of the need for animal advocacy at an early age, and they are learning how to be effective advocates. In addition, they’re gaining confidence and upping their own self-esteem at an age when girls typically start becoming overcritical of themselves and look to society’s superficial values for self-validation.
A young girl participating in this program will look into a puppy’s eyes and see the unconditional love and trust, and she will know she’s made a difference in that puppy’s life. What an amazing way to to help young girls realize they each have the capacity to contribute, and to encourage each of them to demonstrate compassion throughout their lives. The positive impact of a program like this, therefore, is both immediate and far-reaching. And, of course, there is the life-changing impact the program has on all the lucky pups that are rescued and adopted.
The Unleashed program started by partnering with a few different New York schools, including The Nightingale-Bamford School in Manhattan. Having taught several years ago at another Upper East Side private school, I have to add that I’m especially pleased to find out about this program happening in the old neighborhood.
Here’s a quick look at the program that’s sure to brighten anyone’s day!