Florida Museum of Natural History
Since sixth grade, 17-year-old Rosie Kereston has committed her
summers to serving the Museum as a Junior Volunteer. “I had always
loved visiting the Museum as a child,” she says, “so I felt dedicating
my time to working there would be very worthwhile and fun.”
Rosie also knew she would later need volunteer experience for
college scholarships, but wanted to volunteer someplace she
loved. She said the Museum was the perfect fit.
“Interacting with people of all ages and sharing what I’ve learned
are two of my favorite things,” she said. “Going back to the Museum
is something I look forward to at the start of every summer.”
Education assistant Jennifer Hunzinger, who coordinated the junior
volunteer program last summer, said Rosie embodies many of the
qualities the Museum looks for in junior volunteers.
“Rosie is enthusiastic about learning new skills and excited to share
her knowledge with visitors,” Hunzinger said. “She also approaches
her assignments with a mature sense of service, is highly regarded
by her supervisors and other junior volunteers, and has a wonderful
reputation for dependability.”
Rosie has served in a variety of positions as a volunteer, from
working with children in the Discovery Room to engaging visitors
at the discovery cart. Throughout all of these experiences she has
taken on every task with intelligence and enthusiasm.
Rosie’s favorite job at the Museum is working as a Butterfly Rainforest
interpreter. She loves not only talking with visitors, but also learning
about the different butterfly species in the exhibit. Last summer,
Rosie was excited for the opportunity to volunteer in the McGuire
Center scientific collections because it provided her with hands-on
experience working with Lepidoptera specimens.
Recently, Rosie’s passion and hard work have enabled her to earn
a volunteer position in the McGuire Center laboratory where she
will assist a team of scientists analyzing Lepidoptera genetics.
Now in her junior year, Rosie plants to attend college and hasn’t
yet decided on a major. But she said her volunteer work at the
Museum has sparked her interest in biology and chemistry.
“Without question, volunteering at the Museum has already
impacted my earliest career decisions,” she said.
Just as Rosie has benefited from her Museum service, the Museum,
in turn, is more successful because of the work of talented and
dedicated volunteers like Rosie.
Rosie Kereston, left, participates in
as a pollinator.
outstanding junior volunteer