Capstone Group Aids and Educates About 4 Paws for Ability

Paper towels, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. These items are not part of a senior capstone group’s grocery list, but rather, the items they are collecting to be given to 4 Paws for Ability, an organization that provides service dogs world-wide to children with disabilities and veterans with specific needs.

“We picked 4 Paws because of how it combined our topics with our junior year ISJRP (integrated social justice research project)s,” Lindsey Fuchs ‘19 said. “I did mine on animals.”

“My ISJRP was on special needs children,” Kelsey Rutlin ‘19 shared.

Esther Labya ‘19 shared, “My ISJRP focused on mental disabilities.”

With the mission of 4 Paws for Ability focusing on all three of those areas, the trio decided to help the organization as their senior capstone project.

The group is first collecting paper towels, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes during the weeks of February 18 and 25.

“These were items on 4 Paws’ wish list that we thought would be the easiest for students to bring in,” Rutlin said.

The following week, the group will talk to 4th grade students at St. Benedict the Moor school about the difference between a service dog and mental companion animal, and what to do if students would see a service dog.

“Service dogs and mental support dogs are not the same,” Labya explained. “Service dogs are trained to do tasks. Mental support dogs are more of a companion, and they don’t even have to be a dog, they can be another animal. Service dogs also shouldn’t be pet without permission because it might distract them for their task.”

The younger students will also have the opportunity to create a poster about their favorite animal.

When reflecting on their senior capstone project, Fuchs said, “It makes me happy because we all had different ISJRPs and we could come together to support 4 Paws.”

Both Rutlin and Labya agreed, “It’s awesome and feels really good, especially since we all had different topics from last year.”

Posted February 21, 2019