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Pawsible Awards 1st Scholarships to Volunteer Puppy Raisers | Press Release, December 2021

In October, Pawsible launched the first-ever scholarship for volunteer puppy raisers volunteering with any assistance dog organization. The Pawsible Academic Puppy Raiser Scholarship (“Pawsible Scholarship”) is Pawsible’s newest program providing academic financial support to student volunteers raising future assistance dogs.

Pawsible received over 30 applications from volunteers of 9 different assistance dog organizations and 26 different colleges. The following exceptional student puppy raisers were awarded the inaugural Pawsible Puppy Raiser Scholarships:

Lindsey Thompson

Canine Companions

M.S. Applied Developmental Psychology

University of Pittsburgh

"I plan to advocate for the use of facility dogs in the pediatric hospital setting in order to promote the positive coping, development, and overall healing of children with special healthcare needs. The experience I have raising future assistance dogs is helping me to lay the groundwork for my own future and career, positively impact the community around me, and most importantly supply an individual with a greater sense of independence."

Nardine Nasr

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Cornell University

"On top of the independence achieved, along the way, many classmates, people in the raiser’s community, and the blind persons’ community will see the kind act done. My goal is from this kind of act, will cause a ripple effect where some people may donate to service dog training programs, some people might raise and sit service dogs in training, and some people will try to assist the person next to them that is in need in other ways. My goal is by training this dog, more acts of kindness will ripple from this and help change the condition of today’s world, one kind act at a time."

Melina Garcia

Canine Companions

B.S. Biology

St. Ambrose University

"Working with these dogs has been one of the most rewarding things. I’ve always wanted to help people in any way possible and becoming a puppy raiser has shown me my future career. Not only do these dogs help them every day, but by assuming financial responsibility during the first 18 months, I help provide the assistance dog free of charge. A lot of people live without assistance animals because they cannot afford it and so being part of the reason they are able to receive a dog makes me so happy."

Rebecca Maslanka

Susquehanna Service Dogs

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

University of Pennsylvania

"As a veterinarian, I have an obligation to educate the public and advocate for the voiceless. I’ve taken this duty extremely seriously, even before I enter the workforce as a veterinarian. My goal is to be able to not only advocate for these dogs but also treat them. I hope that one day I can offer my services and give back to these organizations that have given me so much. By offering discounted services for the treatment of these incredible dogs, I would be playing another role in their journey towards becoming someone’s independence."

Caroline Cox

Canine Companions

Masters in Social Work

University of Denver

"As a social worker who aims to focus my career efforts in the service dog industry, I believe that I can bring to attention the lack of disabled or differently abled voices in decision making in [assistance dog] organizations, empower puppy raisers and volunteers to be active allies to the disabled community, and hope to amplify and understand struggles within the service dog community. With a commitment to gaining this knowledge, I intend to utilize this information to create a more equitable industry, where everyone who needs one of these amazing dogs can be placed in a partnership with one."

Pawsible is proud to grant $2,500 in academic scholarship to each of these puppy raisers.

Interested student, volunteer puppy raisers can apply for the Fall 2022 scholarship opening in June.

About Pawsible

Pawsible is a nonprofit founded in 2019 to support volunteer puppy raisers financially and as a community. We help change lives by supporting the individuals and organizations helping to provide assistance dogs to those with disabilities.

Media Contact:

(301) 458-0012

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