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Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet

We are thrilled to announce that the 2022-2023 LEAP program now has six participating sanctuaries with the addition of Herd and Flock, Goatlandia, and Charlie’s Acres! Founded by three non-profit animal sanctuaries in Northern California – Jameson Humane, Blackberry Creek, and Rancho Compasión – we are transforming LEAP into its own non-profit in 2023 to begin a movement to reach youth across the country.

This new humane education program, “Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet” (LEAP) offers participants hands-on farmed and domestic animal care experience, humane education, and the opportunity to earn a $1000 scholarship by volunteering at participating animal sanctuaries. We encourage any interested high school students to apply for the 2022-2023 academic year with a deadline of September 4, 2022.

Founding donors are needed to support curriculum development and five student scholarships at each of the six participating sanctuaries. We are proud to partner with Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and H.E.A.R.T. for non-profit formation and curriculum development. Donations to fund the program can be made through our fiscal sponsor, Rancho Compasión HERE. 

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What is the LEAP Program?

Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet (LEAP) connects high school students with non-profit animal sanctuaries to learn about hands-on, compassionate animal care, our food and agricultural system, and respectful stewardship of our planet.

  • From September through May for approximately 10 hours per month, students and their peers will meet at a local animal sanctuary to care for rescued animals, assist with infrastructure projects, and participate in a humane education curriculum, all culminating in a community-based project related to the rescued animals!


  • LEAP empowers students to be compassionate catalysts for change, by addressing three main points: the ethics of using animals for industry and its effects on human communities, connecting with and caring for rescued animals, and what we can do to curb climate change.


  • At the end of the student’s completed year with LEAP, they will receive a financial scholarship of $1000 to put toward their future.

Our LEAP Curriculum Overview


Every month students will volunteer at a sanctuary and learn about caring for goats, cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, and more. They will help feed sanctuary residents, learn to administer medications, practice hoof trimming, and keep their living spaces clean with poop scooping, stall mucking, and more!


Students will gather either online or in person for monthly classroom lessons and will learn from experts in various animal and environmentally related fields. Each year of the program, we will focus on a certain topic, such as the ethics of eating, and the challenges and solutions related to these topics.


LEAPers will be invited to sanctuary events, learn to help with public outreach, and meet like-minded volunteers.

Why consider LEAP for your student?

  • With a diverse array of learning methods–such as construction projects, basic veterinary care, and public outreach–students will become adept at:

public interface & networking

group leadership & personal leadership: leading by example, and leading a life aligned with their ethics
problem solving
practical hands-on skills, whether on the ranch or in the office
social-emotional learning and empathy
  • Commitment to the animal sanctuary residents, rain or shine, teaches patience, dependability, and resilience.


  • Students will be rewarded with financial compensation, letters of recommendation, and be connected with a vast network of nonprofits and mentors.
Families will not be required to pay for expensive feed, animal husbandry equipment, medical costs, and other financial burdens. The students are paid fairly and competitively for their work, opening up possibilities of a career path in animal rights and welfare.

Most importantly, LEAP encourages students that empathy for others is a strength, not a weakness. With humanity at a major crossroads, there’s no better time for our youth to leap forward into a more compassionate and forward-thinking society.

What sets LEAP apart from other agricultural scholarship programs?

LEAPers will have many of the same opportunities that other agriculture programs offer – working with other LEAPers from around the region, participating in local events, learning from experts and mentors, receiving financial compensation for their work, and, of course, spending time with the animals–but without the financial and emotional burden of raising and showing a slaughter-bound animal. 

What makes a great LEAPer?

  • Candidates for the LEAP program understand the social responsibility they have as the next generation of leaders, and want to make a difference in their communities. 


  • They are students who are considering joining an agricultural learning program but do not feel that the primary offerings are right for them or aligned with their values. 


  • They love outdoor, physical learning, community involvement, connecting with animals, and caring for our environment

We feel that there is no better time to introduce a program such as this.

As humanity enters a dangerous threshold for our viability on this planet, LEAP asks young leaders to critically examine the systems and traditions that have led to this point. We hope you are excited to share this rigorous yet rewarding program with your students.

LEAP provides students with hands-on farmed and domestic animal care experience, humane education, and the opportunity to earn a scholarship by volunteering at participating animal sanctuaries.


August 7:  Application submissions begin
September 4:  Application deadline at midnight
September 10 – May 28, 2023:  Duration of LEAP Program

Requirements to Apply

  • Participants must be vaccinated against COVID-19, and boostered if eligible
  • Must have reliable transportation to a participating sanctuary
  • Must be available to meet monthly time commitments (see application for varying sanctuary dates/times)
  • Must be able to walk and stand for extended periods of time and lift 40+ lbs

Participating Sanctuaries

Student with cow at Jameson Humane Sanctuary

Marin County


Napa County


Solano County


Sonoma County

Rancho Compasión



Charlie's Acres

- sonoma -


Jameson Humane

- NAPA -

Please download the Jameson Humane PDFs and email them to:


- sonoma -

Blackberry Creek



Herd and Flock

- solano -

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Media Contact

Maral Papakhian
(415) 845-7205