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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 

Amazing Kid! of the Month for May, 2004: 
Amazing Animal Associates Founder, Darcie Hancock;
Corfu, New York

Quote of the Month: 

"We want to help animals, the ones who have no voice...We want to educate other kids and people about cruelty and neglect of animals and how real the abuse is.  We want kids to know there are many things they can do to help."

Amazing Darcie Hancock, age 14
Animal Associates Founder and President

Amazing Kids! knows that most kids love animals.  That is why our May Amazing Kid! of the Month story is one that you're sure to love!  It is about amazing Darcie Hancock, a 14 year old animal lover who started her own kids' club to help save animals from being hurt or abused.  Read Darcie's story below and who knows?  Maybe you'll be inspired to join in her efforts to help animals too!

Be sure to visit the "Related Links" section at the end of the story to visit the Animal Associates website to learn more about how you can get involved.

Table of Contents 

Amazing Darcie and Animal Associates
In Her Own Words:  Darcie's Story
Related Links

Amazing Darcie and Animal Associates

Amazing Darcie, founder, Animal Associates

Darcie Hancock is an enthusiastic 8th grader from Corfu, New York. Amazing Darcie is a girl who has many talents.  She participates in school sports, has done modeling and acting, is a very good student and is currently taking scuba lessons!  But there is one thing Darcie loves to do more than anything:  helping animals!

Ever since she was a little girl, her passion has been helping animals. From the time she was 11, when she tried to apply for a job at a local veterinary office, to the present, volunteering at H.O.R.S.E. Rescue and Sanctuary and the Wyoming County SPCA, the safety of animals has been her concern. One of her primary goals is to raise the awareness of animal abuse and let other kids know that they can make a difference, too!

The amazing Animal Associates Club, Batavia, New York

Kids often want to know just how other kids like them get started doing their amazing activities. Here is how Darcie got started:

When she was 11, Darcie asked if she could volunteer at a veterinary hospital, but was turned down because of her young age. This only made her determination stronger. She was discouraged but realized she could still educate herself about important animal issues. This is when she started writing Letters to the Editor and submitted them to various newspapers about animals.

Darcie meeting Dr. Fitzgerald
from Animal Planet's E Vets

Working together with her friend, Jenna, they started a club to prove that kids were not too young to help or volunteer. She began to research all she could about her favorite subject – animals. She began expanding her knowledge and experience by:

  • reading everything she could about animals
  • attending summer zoo camps
  • entering zoo apprentice programs
  • taking an animal emergency care course at a community college
  • observing employees at two animal hospitals and Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
  • volunteering at H.O.R.S.E. Rescue and Sanctuary and the Wyoming County SPCA

A very young Darcie with model/actor Fabio, when Darcie won a kids' beauty pageant
(Darcie says: "My mom told me to 'feel him' to see if he was real!")
Darcie's mother, Dinene, has been a big supporter of Darcie through all of Darcie's efforts at helping animals.  Darcie's mother talks of Darcie's amazing hard work and dedication:

"Darcie has spent many years of dedication to animals having to give up some of her free time, but this is her life. She has a deep and special love for animals and helping them. She has met Dr. Fitzgerald of Animal Planets ER Vets, she has studied the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Guide. She is presently getting scuba certified with a PADA dive center for future volunteer work.

"She has swam with sea lions and dolphins, and attended three different Sea Worlds.

"Darcie has her family’s full support, along with the public. Being in the public spotlight, it is important that she maintain her grade average of A. All of Darcie’s experiences have been numerous, she has surpassed her initial goal and has set high standards for herself, the club and her future. Darcie plans to attend Veterinary school and go on to work in the ‘animal field’. She knows, being responsible is a top priority by being President of her club. Darcie’s leadership skills are strong, she has made many new friends along the way, her faith is powerful, and she has a bright and promising future ahead of her. She will continue to reach for the highest and brightest stars. Darcie hopes are to reach other kids by telling them, it can be done, do not give up, you are not too young, if you dream it, you can achieve it."

In Her Own Words: Darcie's Story

"I started Animal Associates when I was 11 years old. I am now almost 14.  I  began my career of volunteer work when I was four years old, accompanying my Mom to pediatric wards of hospitals to deliver toys and candy. As I grew older, I began ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, dressing myself and my large plush dogs as elves to get people’s attention. It worked, and people were generous. My life took a turn in loving animals and having a need to be near them.

"When I was 11, I asked if I could volunteer at a veterinary hospital but was turned down because of my age. This only made my devotion stronger. I was discouraged but realized I could still educate myself about important animal issues. This is when I started writing to the Letter of the Editor about animals. I then started my own club, I could prove kids were not to young to help or volunteer.  I began reading everything I could about animals, attended summer zoo camps, then into Zoo Apprentice programs, took an animal emergency care course at a community college, and was allowed to shadow employees at two animal hospitals and Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. I was lucky enough to be able to swim with dolphins and sea lions, and I am becoming scuba certified to be able to scuba with sea lions and clean their tanks as a volunteer when I am older. I have enjoyed every minute of being with animals.

"The club now has 14 members.

"I am active in sports;cross country and track on a varsity level since the age of 12. Since,I have earned  all stars county and  sectionals recognition for both track and X-C, also making it to X-C Stateswhere I  placed second on my school varsity XC team.

"Finding time for animals is a priority for me. We really have so much fun when the club gets together for meetings, fundraisers, and ice cream parties. The kids and teens of all ages work together and get along very well.

"Kids can reach for the highest and brightest star; you are never to young to learn or help."

            Darcie Hancock

It takes a lot of dedication and uses up much of her free time away from school, but Darcie has such a special love for animals, that she does not mind. With the full support of her family, friends and fellow club-members, she is bound to be successful at whatever she sets her mind to achieving.

Keep up the great work, Darcie!  You can be very proud to know that you are helping make a difference in many animals lives!

Back to Table of Contents

Related Links:

You can read more about Darcie’s animal activism, the club and some of her amazing experiences at the Animal Associates website:

Animal Associates' website:

The following online magazines feature Darcie:  (Click "History in the making") (Click "Teen scene", then "Teen helps abused animals")

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!

Here's an idea you might want to try:


If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors . If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at:


  It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!

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