In June 2009 Tara Ung began volunteering with the Willowbrook Wildlife Center. As a junior naturalist, she’s been helping to welcome visitors to the center since.
Tara was nominated to receive a Naperville Youth Service Award for her volunteer work with the center. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County represented by Naturalist Jack MacRae nominated Tara for the award.
Every year, KidsMatter together with Mayor George Pradel and the City Council, give out the Naperville Youth Service Awards to deserving teen volunteers during a special ceremony.
The Willowbrook Wildlife Center is the oldest wild animal hospital in the United States and provides medical attention to approximately 9000 wild animals each year. Through her volunteer work, Tara welcomes visitors to Willowbrook, explains the center’s mission, and enthusiastically shares her knowledge of DuPage County wildlife.
“Tara is exceptionally bright and friendly and always willing to lend a hand wherever her talents are needed,” MacRae said. “She is mature and possesses an excellent sense of humor. Her ability to communicate to both children and adults is outstanding.”
Over his 31-year career MacRae said he has met many impressive volunteers, young and old alike, but Tara stood out because of her eagerness to learn and her willingness to contribute to the center’s success. When Tara is involved in a project, his comfort level grows.
“It is very apparent that Tara is going to be a valuable contributor in whatever field she chooses to pursue in life,” he said.