Alumni Spotlight: EGHS grad pursues a career in the wild

INDICATORS MET: Advanced Placement success, Co-curricular participation, Community service

By Mina Sabet

Elk Grove High School alumna Cassidy Hamilton knew what she wanted to be when she was 10 years old – a zookeeper.

Now 19, Cassidy is majoring in Wildlife Ecology as well as double minoring in Biology and Captive Wildlife Management at The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. She also recently completed a prestigious internship at the Brookfield Zoo. 

She credits Elk Grove High School for helping her pursue her passion. One of her internship recommendation letters even came from her high school counselor, Debra Ohler.

“She was very supportive and helpful throughout my high school career and helped me figure out if I was on the right course and how to get involved,” Cassidy said.

At Elk Grove, Cassidy received phenomenal grades and graduated two years ago with 33 Advanced Placement credits under her belt. She participated in extracurriculars such as girls golf, Scholastic Bowl, girls swimming and National Honor Society.

In addition, Cassidy took several biology classes in high school and volunteered at the Brookfield Zoo starting her sophomore year.

“I really enjoyed my biology classes in high school and just solidifying that I’m good at what I love to do. A lot of my classes helped me prepare for life after high school and adjusting to the real world.”

At college, Cassidy spends most of her time with her school's Herpetology Society and is an officer and outreach coordinator at a live animal collection, where she organizes educational shows for students as young as 5 to her college classmates.

This past February, Cassidy applied for an internship with the Animal Ambassador Program at Brookfield Zoo. After waiting several months, Cassidy found out she was chosen to participate in the highly competitive summer internship. The position helped teach her how to be interactive with guests and animals and learn the daily grind of being a zookeeper, experiencing different areas of animal training.

“I knew basically all throughout high school that I wanted to work with animals and wildlife,” said Cassidy. “All the AP classes helped me get used to a heavy workload which really helps in my college courses.”

Mina Sabet is an undergraduate at the University of Missouri pursuing a broadcast journalism degree and a John Hersey High School alumna. She interned in the District's Department of Community Engagement and Outreach during the summer of 2016.


Cassidy Hamilton

High School: Elk Grove High School
College: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Major(s): Wildlife Ecology
Minor(s): Biology & Captive Wildlife Management
Career Ready Fact: Cassidy entered college with 33 AP credits, technically making her a sophomore