Our Insights

MindSpringers Give Back (Earth Day Edition): Sophie Gatins and The Shedd Aquarium

by MindSpring Partners on April 22, 2020 in MindSpring News


MindSpringers Give Back

We’re keeping our MindSpringers Give Back series going strong with a special edition today – because it’s International Earth Day! In celebration of our planet, we asked our recruiter and marketing manager, Sophie, all about her time volunteering at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.


Sophie at the Shedd


Sophie has been volunteering in the Guest Engagement Department at the Shedd Aquarium as an Exhibit Ambassador for just over two years.


After following Shedd approved curriculum, Sophie gets cleared on various exhibits and then is approved to “interpret” at that habitat. This means, as soon she puts on the khaki pants and a tucked in Shedd t-shirt, you can catch her interactively engaging with guests, answering questions, and sharing information about the animals, their ecosystems, conservation, and care.


“The amount of information that I’ve learned from volunteering has been incredible, but the interactions with Shedd visitors are even more awesome,” said Sophie. “It’s so rewarding to see children and adults alike discover the magic of a new animal and uncover the mysteries of the aquatic world. And sometimes, I’m learning from them! I’m often blown away by the knowledge and insight of even our youngest guests.”


At the end of each shift, even after talking to literally hundreds of people, Sophie doesn’t feel drained at all. In fact, she leaves the aquarium more energized than when she started.


Can you guess Sophie’s favorite aquatic animal?

Cownose Rays!


Bet you didn’t know…

Sea otters have the densest fur of any animal in the world! In one square inch (about the size of a quarter) they have a million hair follicles – enough to cover a German Shephard!


Inspired to join Sophie and her aquatic friends by getting involved with Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium? Take a look at their Chicago-based volunteer opportunities to learn how can make an impact in the future!



Chicago Organizations that Need Your Support


While we’re happy to shelter in place and help support the safety of our community, we do miss the ways we typically give back. We’ve compiled a list of charitable orgs near and dear to our hearts. Take a look for additional opportunities to give back to the Chicago community during this time.