Abby Mayer – Indiana Nomination & Photography by Moments In Time by Kimberly Krueger Issue 56 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Abby just joined my team and in her first two shoots she has proven to be a natural in front of the camera, helps support the other girls and is loving the process. Abby is self motivated and a super hard worker! She is passionate about conservation and an animal lover who spends her time as a volunteer Zoo Teen at the Indianapolis Zoo. She plays club volleyball at B-Town Volleyball Club, works part-time at our small town candy shop and is an active member of both FFA and the National Honor Society at her High School.
Photography by Moments In Time by Kimberly Krueger
What should we definitely know about you? I love to spend time volunteering at both our local Zoo and my old Elementary School. I'm passionate about animals and conservation. I work very hard to maintain strong academics while also serving as part of a student-led leadership team at my High School and as part of the FFA Officer Team. I love art and musical theater and enjoy classes in both. I love volleyball and spend a good deal of time each week practicing and playing in tournaments with my club team. I strive to be a fierce advocate for my friends and family and I'm not afraid to stand up for myself and my beliefs.
What are your volunteer duties at your local zoo? When on shift at the Indianapolis Zoo I work mainly with children, educating them about the animals that they can see there. I run small games and hands-on activities designed to teach the children about the different animals and talk to them about conservation efforts specific to the different animals in ways that they can understand.
What do you love about volunteering there? I love volunteering at the Zoo for multiple reasons. First, I absolutely love the animals and want to educate both myself and others on how we can help them in the wild. I enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends who have similar interests and I enjoy working with kids and helping to mold them into future animal lovers. I love seeing a child’s reaction when they learn that a Walrus’s tusk can grow to be as tall as they are or when they see a Dolphin do a flip. It makes me so happy to see kids be as passionate as I am about the animals.
What are your goals for a career with animals & what made you choose this specific path? My current plan is to attend college to major in Marine Biology with a minor in Psychology. My dream is to attend either Texas A&M or the University of Miami, FL to earn those degrees. In the future I would love to work with marine animals, specializing in dolphins.
Photography by Moments In Time by Kimberly Krueger
How did you find and why did you choose Kimberly Kruger for your photographer? What was your experience like with her? What did you love most about it? I found Kim through one of my best friends who was already part of her team. She told me about the opportunity, and even though I hadn’t met Kim in person I immediately signed up and I’m so glad that I did! Every experience with Kim has been amazing! She is so uplifting, and she makes me feel beautiful every time we shoot together. Coming in as the new girl into an established team can be a bit intimidating, but Kim and the girls have all been super supportive and it’s been such a positive experience.
How did you get started volunteering at your elementary school and what do you do there? The idea to volunteer at my elementary school started because I’m a member of National Honor Society and a requirement for that group is community-based volunteer hours. I wanted to spend my time giving back while also doing something I enjoy so I met with their athletic director and talked with him about volunteer opportunities. We ended up deciding that it would be a perfect fit to have me volunteer my time to coach one of their younger level volleyball teams. Working with these girls gives me the opportunity to teach others about the sport that I love!
What do you do in FFA? Within my local FFA chapter I serve on the officer team as the chapter’s elected Reporter. In this role I am responsible for running all the social media for our chapter. I utilize our social media accounts to showcase the accomplishments of our current members while also promoting what FFA is about to potential newcomers. I strive to help make all new members feel welcome. As a chapter we spend time attending conferences on varying topics, working towards earning higher levels of accomplishments, participating in community service events and so much more.
What is your favorite memory from FFA? During our trip to the National Convention in Indianapolis last year one of our day trips was to the Indianapolis Zoo. Even with all the time I spend at the Zoo, it’s still one of my favorite places. With my chapter I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and get up close with the Rhinos. While there I got to pet the male Rhino at the Zoo, whose name is Spike. It was a really fun experience!
What are you and your friends most looking forward to doing together this summer? My friends and I are looking forward to a summer full of swimming, movies, sleepovers and concerts!
What is a summer tradition with your family that you always look forward to? A tradition I’m looking forward to is going to Holiday World (an amusement & water park in Santa Claus, IN) with my family and friends. Before Covid we had taken a family trip to this park every summer since I was born, but since Covid we haven’t been able to go for the last two summers. I’m really looking forward to re-starting the tradition this summer!
Abby Mayer - Me with Spike the Rhino at the Indianapolis Zoo
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? In my High School I serve as a "Cougar Leader" which means I serve as a mentor to younger students and help to support incoming Freshmen as they transition to High School. I also volunteer my time as part of my old elementary school/ middle school volleyball program where this fall I plan to serve as a Coach on one of the school teams. I look forward to working with the girls, teaching them skills and how to succeed in the sport that I love.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be? My topic would be conservation and animals. I love to spend my free time volunteering at our local zoo where I work as part of their Zoo Teen Education Program. As part of this program, I get to work with children - educating them about the different animals that the Zoo cares for and various conservation acts that they can integrate into their daily lives. I'm an animal lover at heart- whether we're talking about my two dogs at home or the dolphins at the Zoo! I want to make sure that future generations are able to visit and learn about the amazing animals on the planet.
3 Things on your bucket list: 1. Visit the Australia Zoo 2. Feed Alligators & Crocodiles 3. Swim with sharks Look for Abby in issue 56 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!