When you ask Greg Dejasco what he loves to do, he replies that his “life is all about the Aquarium.” That’s the kind of dedication that logs you 1,200 volunteer hours in less than two years. Greg came to the Aquarium in fall 2010 as a work experience student, returning the following spring as a volunteer. He has a long list of involvements here: Street Team, interpretive delivery, school programs, and serving as chair of the Adult Council’s training committee – so essentially, he touches “every department that takes volunteers.”
Greg first came to the Aquarium because of his love for the animals, but it was while he was here that he discovered his passion and talent for teaching. He remembers the moment of this discovery: he was leading a group of eight-year-olds through a school program, and had just discussed sharks, explaining how sharks have skeletons made of cartilage, not bone. He wasn’t sure if the information had sunk in, but when he transitioned to dolphins, one of the students tugged on his arm and asked in a very quiet voice, “Does a dolphin have cartilage instead of bones, too?” The thrill of seeing her not only remember the information she’d just learned, but extend and apply it, showed him that teaching was his calling. He wanted to do that for other kids, too. Now, he’s pursuing a teaching career in university – all because of his experiences here.
“Volunteers like Greg make my job meaningful,” says Wade Janzen, manager of the Aquarium’s Curriculum Programs. “I have seen him grow into himself over his years at the Aquarium.
“He started with our Carbon Games program as a high school work experience student. Now he is a passionate educator who sinks his heart and soul into sustainable living and aquatic education,” Wade continues.
To follow in Greg’s footsteps and become a high school work experience student, or a volunteer, visit our web page here.