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Wildlife volunteerism blends with passions for Lone Star student

August 1, 2017 GMT

Film and wildlife go hand in hand for Lone Star College-CyFair student Edwin Campos. Through volunteerism at the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition Wildlife Center, Campos was able to join his passion for film and experience working with the wildlife to produce a video for the organization.

Campos volunteering opportunity at the coalition was part of a service learning project in Professor Aurora Lugo’s biology class for non-science majors.

“What I enjoyed most about volunteering at TWRC was making the video. I thought it would be cool if there was a video that we could watch about the (organization), instead of powerpoints,” Campos said. “When I volunteered I noticed the environment was a very colorful, vivid, and with the energy and animals would make for a good video.”

According to LSC-CyFair, students have been serving 16 hours or more at TWRC since 2013. TWRC cares for both native and non-native Texas wildlife found in and around the Houston area.

Though Campos volunteered through a college opportunity, the TWRC volunteer opportunities benefit ages 12 and up and those of varied interests. TWRC has a mission to promote environmental conservation through public education and rehabilitation of Texas wildlife.

Student volunteer opportunities include putting together pamphlets used at community events, chopping apples and washing dishes or work in the animal care programs weighing baby squirrels and opossums, cleaning cages, changing bedding, and processing food.

High school and college students also learn basic medical procedures, such as giving injections, and administering medication.

After meeting Campos at the college’s spring semester service learning luncheon, TWRC Executive Director, Roslyn Even, learned of Campos’ passion for making videos. Impressed by the professional look and pride in of the videos, Even asked Campos to make a video for TWRC.

“You can see Edwin’s eyes light up whenever he talks about filming and that excitement transfers to his videos,” Even said. “Our video makes the hard work of caring for hundreds of baby birds look easy and fun. The video is very upbeat and really showcases our amazing wildlife and dedicated volunteers and staff.”

While in high school at Jersey Village, Campos was a member of the school’s television program. Along with other students, Campos made news and other journalism videos while in school. After graduating in 2014, he continued to gain experience by creating music videos and short films.

Campos aimed to accurately promote the center through the unique perspective of the people who are close to TWRC and emotionally invested in the video. The film focuses on the center’s programs and wildlife, including a clip on handling injured wildlife.

“Edwin originally caught my eye because he always had a big smile on his face when he entered our center to work a shift,” Even said. “Then, I discovered that Edwin’s big smile never disappeared, no matter what task he was given to complete. Edwin attacked each task with the same vigor, even the most mundane activity.”

In collaboration with TWRC’s Baby Bird Program Coordinator Dani Riggs, Campos was able to produce a video that describes the center’s wildlife program.

TWRC plans to use the video on their web site as a way to raise community awareness and engage those in the community interested in volunteering.

“It was fun talking to the TWRC staff while making the videos. I tried to make it seem the camera wasn’t there and make people feel comfortable,” Campos said. “It was a fun experience and being so close to wildlife was brand new to me, like my mom would never get me an opossum. Such a new experience was very enjoyable to me. I’m very grateful TWRC gave me that opportunity.”

The TWRC Service Learning project is part of Lugo’s and Professor Shaunte Hulett’s classes.

“It was fun talking to the TWRC staff while making the videos. I tried to make it seem the camera wasn’t there and make people feel comfortable,” Campos said. “It was a fun experience and being so close to wildlife was brand new to me, like my mom would never get me an opossum. Such a new experience was very enjoyable to me. I’m very grateful TWRC gave me that opportunity.”

Campos plans on transferring from LSC-CyFair to the University of Houston. He hopes to attend either the main or downtown campus to study general business.

LSC-CyFair is the fifth comprehensive college in the Lone Star College System and aims to help more than 21,000 students reach their academic and career goals.

Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition (TWRC)

10801 Hammerly Blvd.

Houston, TX 77043

twrcwildlifecenter.org

LSC-CyFair

9191 Barker Cypress Rd.

Cypress, TX 77433

LoneStar.edu/registration