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Utica Zoo hosts OHM BOCES New Visions students

Posted 3/12/23

The Utica Zoo is where seniors Andrew Dischiavo and Brady Murphy have spent their mornings Monday through Thursday the last few weeks while participating in the New Visions program.

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Utica Zoo hosts OHM BOCES New Visions students

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UTICA — The Utica Zoo is where seniors Andrew Dischiavo and Brady Murphy have spent their mornings Monday through Thursday the last few weeks while participating in the New Visions program through the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison (OHM) BOCES.

New Visions provides local high school seniors with an insider’s view of a professional field, including business management, communications, education, engineering technology, health professions, legal professions and veterinary science. The program places students in actual workplaces where they are able to receive hands-on experience in that field — something they would typically have to wait several years for in college.

While some OHM BOCES programs find students reporting to the New Hartford campus for instruction, New Visions is different. Students report to their designated internship for part of the day and also attend their home district for traditional classes the rest of the day.

Although this is typically a slower time of the year at the zoo due to the weather, it has not stopped Dischiavo and Murphy from being right in the action.

Dischiavo, a senior at Proctor High School, is enrolled in the New Visions: Communications program. At the zoo, he has written press releases, helped , in organizing donor information and digitized years of newspaper articles about the zoo. Outside of the classroom, Andrew plays soccer and golf.

Murphy, a senior at Whitesboro High School, is enrolled in the New Visions: Veterinary Science program. He helps provide care for animals in need of treatment and is able to look at x-rays and weigh in on what is happening with the animals. Outside of the classroom, Brady is a member of the Whitesboro varsity wrestling team.

“We have a really strong intern program at the zoo. Many of our current employees were interns who turned into full-time positions, or took positions elsewhere, and then returned to the zoo later in their careers,” Utica Zoo Executive Director Andria Heath said. “Internships are the fundamental base of a career. Being able to provide hands-on professional experience to these students and help them jumpstart their careers is something we are really honored to do.”

The Utica Zoo creates unique experiences and promotes public appreciation of wildlife through education, conservation and recreation. It is home to more than 200 exotic and domestic animals, and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors annually.

For more information on this, and all things Utica Zoo, visit uticazoo.org or follow their social media on Facebook and Instagram.

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