Jean Hedrich's Story
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Jean Hedrich

Let’s Meet Jean!

I retired from 27 years as a public school teacher/school counselor in 2015. I still teach part-time at Wilmington University in the graduate program for Educational Counseling, which gives me time for wildlife rehabilitation.

How did you become interested in your field?

I became acquainted with a local wildlife rehabilitator, Hilary Taylor (Delaware Wildlife Rehabilitators Association), after finding an injured Eastern box turtle. Delaware has eight species of endangered reptiles, including five species of turtles. I was inspired by her work and started volunteering at her home rehabilitation center.

A few years later, I began to volunteer at Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, where I am a Bird Care Assistant and serve on the Outreach and Core Oil Spill teams. I am also on the Volunteer Advisory Committee and mentor new volunteers. I have always loved animals and have a passion for wildlife (especially turtles) and their conservation.

How did you benefit from your ABI experience?

The courses in the Wildlife Rehabilitation program were great. The scope of information that I learned in the program was comprehensive and gave me a wonderful foundation for all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation. The program not only provided the medical knowledge needed for wildlife rehabilitation; it also emphasized conservation and outreach. With my CWRP certification and experience in education, I am now working on programming with the Outreach Team at Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. I have also recently begun conservation research and projects for the benefit of Eastern Box turtles.

How did you complete your field requirement?

I completed my field requirement at Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. Tri-State Bird Rescue works with birds that are injured, orphaned or oiled. As with other wildlife rescues, their goal is to return birds to their natural habitat whenever possible. They offer great experience for volunteers; they have a professional staff but also use over 200 volunteers to help care for the birds and do other tasks – including opportunities in clinical work and bird transport.

Do you have any advice for potential students or current students?

I suggest that they immerse themselves in each course, taking in all the information that is being presented. Materials can be printed or downloaded during the course, giving you the opportunity to start your own training library. The ABI instructors are extremely knowledgeable and supportive – I would suggest staying in touch with them if any questions arise.

Would you recommend ABI?

Without a doubt! I thoroughly enjoyed every course in the Wildlife Rehabilitation program. I have already recommended ABI to my colleagues in wildlife rehabilitation!

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