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Cassondra Sapata-Smith

Ethnicity:

Multiracial (Black/ Hispanic/ White)

Current position: 

Education Specialist

Current facility:

Topeka Zoo

Year zoo career began:

2017

Cassondra is an Education Specialist at the Topeka Zoo where she has to complete a variety of feats on a day-to-day basis. Some days Cassondra is preparing for a camp or homeschool class, while other days she spends time with an education animal, like a ball python, opossum, or hedgehog. Cassondra also communicates to people of all ages, from retirement homes to preschool classes.

Cassondra wanted to be a veterinarian when she was young, and she attended Kansas State University and earned a degree in Animal Science. However, later she realized that her true passional was to work at a zoo and teach people in a non-formal setting, which she didn’t realize was a career option until 2017. Before her current job, Cassondra worked as an intern for the Topeka Zoo education department and as a Group Leader for Topeka Zoo camps.

Cassondra’s favorite part of her job is seeing camp kids come back every year because they enjoy it so much, and she loves getting to know every one of them. Her favorite animal is the tiger, because they’re so precious, adorable, and lovable! Her advice to aspiring education specialists is to never give up, and to do unpaid or paid internships at multiple zoo to rack up experience.