MORRISTOWN—Nicole Ferrentino, 17, of Clark, received a scholarship from The Seeing Eye for raising several puppies for the world-famous dog guide school.
James Kutsch, president of The Seeing Eye, formally congratulated Ferrentino among the 59 puppy raisers to receive scholarships at Family Day, an annual celebration for puppy raisers and their families held at the Morristown campus this summer.
Ferrentino is a freshman at Ramapo College of New Jersey where she is studying education. She has been a puppy raiser for four years as a member of the Seeing Eye®/4-H puppy club. In this capacity, Ferrentino taught her puppies basic obedience, attended local puppy club meetings once a month, exposed puppies to a variety of social situations, and provided them with love and companionship. After a rear and a half, she returned each puppy to The Seeing Eye for its formal training.
“Young adults like Nicole are special because they provide a rock solid foundation for a Seeing Eye dog’s formal training,” said Peggy Gibbon, director of Canine Development for The Seeing Eye. “We are delighted to recognize Nicole for her dedication to the puppy-raising program and wish Nicole well in her future endeavors.”
“We applaud the extraordinary commitment of Nicole and her fellow scholarship winners, enabling blind people to lead more independent lives,” said Kustch.
“Being a part of The Seeing Eye project has made a tremendous impact on the person I am today,” said Ferrentino. “By knowing how much of an impact the dogs I raise will have on someone’s life, I have learned to be responsible.”
Each year, The Seeing Eye recognizes exceptional puppy raisers by presenting them with $1,000 college scholarships. Recipients have raised at least two dogs, have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement and are active in their communities.
The Seeing Eye, founded in 1929, is the nation’s pioneer and innovator of dog guide services and has matched 15,000 specially trained dog guides with blind people. Today, there are approximately 1,800 active graduates of The Seeing Eye who live and work throughout the world and about 700 Seeing Eye volunteer puppy raisers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
For more information on The Seeing Eye or how to become a puppy raiser, call 1-973-5394425 ext. 1769 or visit www.seeingeye.org.
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