Unleashing Opportunities


6 months
(20–30 hours/week)




Youth ages 18–24

Unleashing Opportunities is a six-month paid internship program designed to help youth develop coping skills, interpersonal skills, goal planning and financial literacy. This program is designed for youth who have an interest in an animal-related career.


  • Creating and managing career and personal goals
  • Enhancing coping skills and decision making
  • Developing strengths and personal skills
  • Becoming lifelong animal advocates
  • Developing skills needed for animal related careers


While in the Unleashing Opportunities program, youth will take part in:

  • Feeding, cleaning and providing enrichment for rescued animals
  • Facilitating community support and pet pantries that support local pet owners
  • Field trips to animal welfare agencies
  • Discussions and videos on addressing trauma and coping in adverse life situations
  • Mindfulness and animal-assisted interventions
  • Job shadowing and externships



6 weeks
(18–20 hours/week)


$75/6-hour shift


Spring: Youth ages 18–24
Summer: Youth ages 15–24

Pawspurr is a 6-week program offered in the spring and summer that focuses on fostering connections and a sense of community for young people through our humane education curriculum.


  • Cultivating the skills to stay lifelong animal advocates
  • Creating kinder communities for people and animals
  • Collaborating with young adults in identifying strengths and coping skills to navigate personal and professional settings
  • Developing interest in animal related careers


Through a trauma-informed lens, the Pawspurr program uses a humane education curriculum to address:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Communication goals
  • Career goals
  • Personal goals
  • Careers in animal welfare
  • Develop soft skills necessary for success in the workplace
  • Receive hands-on experience and a better understanding of animal welfare in Philadelphia

Humane Education Workshops


Single workshop or
Custom series


Youth & young adults
ages 5–24

Hand2Paw provides customized humane education workshops for schools and organizations serving marginalized youth in Philadelphia. We offer single humane education workshops and a workshop series that’s customized to the needs of your young people. Length of programming will be determined through meetings with Hand2Paw program staff.


  • Introducing youth to the values of Humane Education
  • Harnessing young people’s natural fascination and affinity with animals as a foundation for building empathy through social and emotional learning.
  • Cultivating compassion with animals and promoting positive relationships between animals and people.
  • Utilizing healing-centered animal-assisted interventions as a violence prevention intervention


  • Onsite humane education workshops with youth at your school or organization
  • Attend custom humane education programs at Hand2Paw where youth have the chance to learn to interact with our rescue animals in a safe environment

Want to bring Hand2Paw to your School or Organization?

Reach out and plan your Humane Education workshop with H2P.

Contact Us

More than a Paycheck

Upon graduating from our program, participants receive an Animal Welfare and Advocacy Certificate as well as a work skills certification, in accordance with PA Career Ready Skills (PA CRS).

We also help youth navigate the hurdles of daily life, with assistance in:

  • Acquiring documentation for future employment
  • Completing FAFSA forms for school
  • Tax returns
  • Bank accounts
  • Obtaining government benefits and social services such as food and counseling services
  • Obtaining a driver’s license or state documentation

Join a Hand2Paw Program

If you are a young person who learned about Hand2Paw through your school or one of our partners, apply to join our program!

Referrers can also help youth apply for a Hand2Paw program using the link below.