LEAP styled text image

Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet

On behalf of non-profit animal sanctuaries in Northern California – Jameson Humane, Blackberry Creek, and Rancho Compasión – we are thrilled to announce a new pilot program for high school students that will begin in February 2022. 

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 $500 scholarship by volunteering at participating animal sanctuaries. We encourage any interested high school students to apply for the Spring semester with a deadline of January 23, 2022.

LEAP logo

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.

  • Each week from February to June 2022, for 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 term with LEAP, they will receive a financial scholarship of $500 to put toward their future.

Our LEAP Curriculum Overview


Every week, 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!


On the first Thursday of the month, from 7:00-8:30pm, students will gather online with other LEAPers for an online class and will learn from experts in the field. Each month, we will focus on a certain topic, such as the dairy industry, 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.


January 10:  Application submissions begin
January 23:  Application deadline at midnight
January 30:  Virtual kick-off event for admitted students
January 31 – June 4, 2022:  Duration of LEAP Program

Requirements to Apply

  • Participants must be vaccinated against COVID-19, and boostered if eligible
  • Must live in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, or Placer Counties
  • Must be available weekly, from February – June 4th, at 10 hours per month
  • Must have reliable transportation 
  • 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