Support the Zoo

Teen Leaders Institute


The Teen Leaders Institute is a unique winter service-learning program for high school juniors and seniors with an interest in learning about careers in the non-profit sector such as marketing, finance, event planning, community relations, and a desire to make a difference.


Throughout the program, students learn about the Zoo’s mission and the role that non-profits like the Zoo play in the community. Teen Leaders will also learn: how the Zoo successfully executes major fundraising campaigns for exhibits like the new Penguin Coast; how the Zoo plans and implements large events like Zoo Boo and Bunny Bonanzoo; how the Zoo effectively uses social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to connect and share important wildlife information with over 107,000 followers; and how the Zoo efficiently welcomes over 470,000 guests annually to become a top tourist attraction in the Baltimore region and a leading authority in conservation education.

Throughout the Saturdays of the program teens will:

  • Work together to plan a fundraising event from start to finish
  • Participate in games, activities, and workshops to learn about managing money, communication, and leadership
  • Gain community service hours that can be used to fulfill Maryland State Service Learning requirements
  • Have the opportunity to apply for paid summer employment at the Zoo

Using the Zoo as their classroom, Teen Leaders will explore the features of a successful non-profit while gaining valuable life skills.

This program welcomes a diverse group of students, particularly those who are interested in attaining an education in business and career readiness and either do not have that opportunity through school OR would like to supplement their classroom experience. Spaces in the Teen Leaders Institute are limited and admission is competitive.

The 2017 Teen Leaders Institute will take place Saturday mornings from 9:00am to 1:00pm from January 21, 2017 through March 16, 2017. Participants must commit to full participation in all program dates

Applications for winter 2017 have now closed.  Please check back in fall of 2017 for the next opportunity to join this exciting Zoo program.

Read the 2017 Teen Leader Program Flyer

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore’s Teen Leaders Institute is generously supported by:

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation


Adult volunteering

College internships

Group service projects

One-time volunteering