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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Zoo and ten colleges and universities are making an investment in students from poor neighborhoods, by developing a $1 million scholarship fund over the next 10 years.

The participants are 14 to 18-year-olds from low-income families who will put in time at the zoo, beginning their sophomore years, to qualify for up to $5,000 scholarships, per student, according to the Zoo’s Director of Education, Kristen Lewis-Waldron.

“They actually spend three years with us here on site, and then they’re eligible for this scholarship when they graduate from our Zoo Crew Program,” Waldron explains.

She says they have programs each year to assist students who are interested in animals, the environment and conservation.

“We want to harness that passion and that enthusiasm, and give them a platform for succeeding in the future,” says Waldron.

She says the Zoo Crew Scholarship Fund is fostering the next generation of wildlife and environmental stewards among deserving urban youth.

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