Volunteer Spotlight: Lisa Shierloh

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Volunteers usually experience some manner of growth during their time at the Nature Center. Lisa Shierloh overcame a common fear while working as an animal care volunteer.
Woman holding a snake
Lisa Shierloh with her former nemesis, a corn snake. Photo by FWNC&R Staff.

When Lisa Shierloh first started volunteering at the Nature Center a year ago, her fear of snakes was palpable. The mere thought of handling them would send shivers down her spine. However, Lisa’s passion for animal care and her desire to challenge herself led her to confront her fear head-on. In the beginning, Lisa’s hesitancy was apparent. She carefully avoided the snakes while changing their water, always making sure not to get too close. Recognizing her unease, the staff provided a supportive environment, offering guidance and encouragement to help Lisa gradually overcome her fear.

As the months passed, Lisa’s progress became evident. She learned to recognize different snake species and understand their behaviors. Lisa’s dedication not only benefited the animals but also inspired her fellow volunteers and Nature Center staff. Lisa’s journey has had a ripple effect within the Nature Center community. Her determination to face her fears has encouraged other volunteers to confront their own challenges and uncertainties.

Lisa’s transformation wasn’t limited to personal growth; it extended to her ability to educate visitors about snakes and their importance in the ecosystem. Overcoming her fear allowed her to share valuable information with the public, dispelling myths and fostering a deeper understanding of these often-misunderstood creatures. Lisa’s story serves as a testament to the transformative power of volunteerism, illustrating how personal growth can enhance one’s ability to contribute positively to the community.

Lisa’s evolution from a fearful volunteer to a confident snake handler at the Nature Center exemplifies the extraordinary impact that dedication, mentorship, and a supportive environment can have. Her story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the positive outcomes that can arise when individuals face and conquer their fears. As she continues her journey, Lisa serves as an inspiration for others, demonstrating that passion and commitment can lead to personal growth and a lasting impact on the world around us.

By Kenneth Nalley, Naturalist, Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

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