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When a child has a love for both animals and art, she can do amazing things. Take Brianna Bruce, for example. The 17-year-old has been volunteering at the Greenville Zoo for three years and recently combined her love of animals and painting into a mural.

Brianna volunteers in the education department, helping with kids’ programming, summer camps, birthday parties and more. Recently, she has been helping with virtual outreach. Her favorite thing to do is help with animal encounters.

“I love to see the kids light up,” she said. “My favorite animal to bring out is the kinkajou, it’s super cute.” 

It was by chance that she got the opportunity to paint her mural. She had heard that the paint in the girls’ bathroom was peeling and she asked if she could be creative. From there she created a mural of a giraffe looking down on a little girl. The mural also boasts the handprints of all the recent zoo volunteers. Brianna said it took about two months to complete the project.

Ren Love is the education coordinator for the Greenville Zoo. She noted that Brianna’s mural was a wonderful team-building project for all zoo volunteers. She said teen volunteers like Brianna are a vital part of making the education program run smoothly.

“Not only does Bri take initiative in her work duties, but she also works well with her peers,” Love said. “She is excellent at providing positive feedback, correcting others gently and building team morale.”

Brianna said it is important to volunteer and help with educating children. She enjoys teaching kids about the conservation of the earth and its animals.

Brianna hopes to continue volunteering with the Greenville Zoo, and she wants to make a career of her jewelry making business, which features nature inspired designs.

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