GRIFFITH PARK, LOS ANGELES - Our ABC7 Cool Kid for Thursday, Aug. 17, is Alyssa Enciso, who dreams of becoming a wildlife veterinarian after being inspired by her time at the Los Angeles Zoo.
At just 16 years old, the South Hills High School junior has volunteered nearly 250 hours at the zoo.
"Since fourth grade I've been waiting to become a high schooler to volunteer here," she said.
Now, she not only educates visitors about the animals, she also helps with special events and the zoo's recycling program.
"She understands the needs of the zoo and is willing to help wherever she's needed at any time and is one of the people that we can really depend on," said Anna Becker, coordinator for the zoo's volunteer program.
It's all added up to a new dream for Alyssa. She hopes to one day become a wildlife veterinarian, after attending UC Davis or Cornell University, of course.
The interaction with the eager students is what she loves most.
"I just think it's really neat that a new generation of kids coming in who are interested in the animals, and I like how I can give them the knowledge," Alyssa said.