Grow with King Scholars

Growth looks different for everyone. Therefore, the opportunities to encourage it should be too. King Scholars have access to and engage in several core experiences that include interactive workshops, public presentations, and collaborating with other emerging leaders around the region.

Interactive Workshops

King Scholars have access to over 30 fun and engaging courses that center STEAM, college and career readiness, conservation leadership and various leadership competencies. These courses are designed to empower teens with essential leadership skills, foster self-confidence, strengthen teamwork and camaraderie, and promote a sense of responsibility and justice. Therefore, the topics range from positive mental health, coding, public speaking to emotional intelligence, animal wellness, and even selecting a college major and minor. And no two workshops, even those that feature the same topic, are ever facilitated the same way. For instance, one research course is delivered in three different ways that include an escape room experience, a tech scavenger hunt, and a zooarchaeological investigation. This model ensures that King Scholars consistently immerse in a new experience, yet leave with a different perspective all centered around a familiar subject.

Public Presentations

Public speaking is an essential skill and is a core element of King Conservation Science Scholars. All public presentations within King Conservation Science Scholars aim to instill confidence, articulate expression, and effective communication skills, preparing King Scholars to speak with conviction and impact in various personal and professional settings. Yet staying true to the culture of the program, King Scholars engage in a variety of ways to sharpen their public speaking skills. They deliver interpretive presentations using biological artifacts at various animal exhibits throughout Brookfield Zoo Chicago. They lead educationally entertaining guided tours that give guests a glimpse into the lives of some of the most elusive animals on our planet. They create and facilitate interactive conservation stations that demystify and center local and global conservation efforts. They even participate in ambassador animal demonstrations that get guests up close and personal with live animals and help foster deeper connections with those animals and their wild counterparts. Nonetheless, each of these ways ensure engaging experiences for our external guests and enriching ones for our King Scholars, all while creating memorable encounters and fostering a connection with wildlife and green spaces.


Conservation Connections

Collaboration and teamwork are the cornerstones of conservation, leadership and thus, at the heart of a King Scholar’s journey. Conservation Connections are where King Scholars collaborate, connect and partner with other young leaders and conservation programs and teams around the country. They are designed to foster a collaborative network among teen leaders that share resources, ideas, and experiences as well as cultivate friendships. And one of the best parts of Conservation Connections is that they have embedded opportunities that allow King Scholars to both host and visit other teens around the greater Chicagoland area and beyond. King Scholars have collaborated with teens from Cosley Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Indianapolis Zoo, and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The goal of our Conservation Connections is to enhance the overall impact and reach of individual programs and provide a pathway for more diverse groups of young leaders to build more personable relationships with each other.

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This program is made possible, in part, with support from the King Family Foundation, BNSF Railway Foundation, FedEx Corporation, the Julius N. Frankel Foundation, the Gerald A. and Karen A. Kolschowsky Foundation Inc., the Edmond and Alice Opler Foundation, Peoples Gas Community Fund, the Schmidgall Family Foundation, the Dr. Scholl Foundation, and Wintrust Financial Corporation.