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Pawsible Awards Spring Scholarships to Volunteer Puppy Raisers | Press Release, January 2023

In October 2021, 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 is entering its second year of this program.

Pawsible received over 80 applications from volunteers of 14 different assistance dog organizations and 48 different post-secondary institutions. The following exceptional student puppy raisers were awarded the Spring 2023 Pawsible Puppy Raiser Scholarships:

A female puppy raiser in a black and white fluffy coat holds a golden retriever puppy in a yellow vest while standing in front of a stone seal.

Samantha Carter

Canine Companions

B.M. Music Education

Texas Tech University

"This is honestly something that has hit really close to home for me. I am going into the education field. I will be a teacher and I know that I will have students that have disabilities of many kinds. The public school system is really struggling to provide proper accommodations for students for them to be successful. Before I puppy raised, I did not know how to go about accommodations, how the properly refer to these students, what needs they have, and how to support them in the best way possible. I know now that these students are just like anyone else, they might just need aids in order to achieve things at the same level as others. Honestly, I am really disappointed in the education I received in school for disabilities in the classroom, so I am thankful puppy raising has given me a good foundation so that I can continue to educate myself and making my classroom a safe and accommodating place. My goal is to become an advocate for the disability community in my schools and help provide these students with the best chance at learning. "

A female puppy raiser sits on the ground next to a yellow lab in a blue vest.

Megan Tracy

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

B.A. Architecture, Minor in American Studies

Miami University

"The area I have connected with the most is explaining how to make life more accessible to everyone. As an architecture major I take Zach to my architecture classes several times a week. This has led to some amazing conversations with other architecture students on how to make our designs more accessible to everyone. From something as simple as wide enough pathways for wheelchair or guide dog users to more detailed design changes like the dimensions of tactile warning strips and how far away from the hazard they must be. It is amazing to see the students and my friends become more empathetic and want to make a difference through focusing on accessibility within their designs."

A female puppy raiser kneels next to a yellow lab puppy in a yellow vest and blue bandana. They are in the grass in the shade.

Jamie Klemm

Canine Companions

B.A. Criminal Justice

University of Delaware

"Puppy raising has been an eye opening opportunity for me. Puppy raisers commit to raising a dog out of the goodness of their heart, despite the hard goodbye at the end. Puppy raising includes getting to fall in love and help train a puppy for a bigger purpose, but to know it was all selfless. Knowing that this puppy will help a person or a whole family is a great feeling. It's a rewarding feeling knowing you're helping people. Falling in love with a puppy and training it to be the best it can possibly be is so fun and in the end you learn so much about dogs and just a little bit about what someone who needs one of these dogs goes through everyday. It's a lot of work but it comes with an amazing reward."

A female puppy raiser sits on the steps under the UGA arch in a jean skirt and red t-shirt. Next to her is a black lab in a blue leash and head collar.

Maddie Sullivan

Guide Dog Foundation

B.S. Animal Science; Biological Science

University of Georgia

"I love puppy raising because of how much we grow right alongside our in-training pups. Puppy raising will teach you patience, valuable training techniques, and important skills such as time management. The time and patience you put into your pup is something you will apply to other areas of your life, as you learn to successfully manage both puppy raising and school at the same time. And as your pup gains confidence in its surroundings and in its skill, you’ll also gain confidence in your abilities as a puppy raiser. There’s no better feeling than when all of your hard work, patience, and love pays off when a certain command finally ‘clicks’."

A female puppy raiser with blonde hair holds a little, happy black lab puppy in a yellow vest.

Jessie Hensel

Canine Companions

B.A. Political Science; History Pre-Law

Tulane University

"Puppy raising has made me an active ally because it has given me many opportunities to educate others on disability rights and accessibility. Being in public with my dog has presented many opportunities to speak to strangers about service dogs, what they can provide to people, and what sort of access laws exist in my state. It has also highlighted some accessibility problems locally and on my college campus that, now that I am aware of, I can start to try and change. Having Jetta has made me more aware of the lack of accessibility around Tulane and New Orleans and I have sent multiple e-mails to our dean of students bringing up these concerns and highlighting the ADA violations occurring on campus- some of which have been addressed after my reaching out. As a puppy raiser, we have a responsibility to not only be allies for the disability community but also to involve ourselves and I have additionally involved myself with the deaf community in New Orleans and have sat down with them to learn about accessibility issues they face as well as how their hearing dogs, which some of them have, have changed the way they go about their daily lives."

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

We also want to recognize the raisers who were chosen as alternates:

Alyssa Stouch, Canine Companions, University of Pittsburgh Avery Foster, Guide Dog Foundation, University of Georgia Daisy Beale, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, The Ohio State University

Interested student volunteer puppy raisers can apply for the Fall 2023 scholarship opening Early Summer 2023 .

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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