Luis' Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Opportunity Youth Roadtrip

LUIS PADILLA

Director of Animal Health
St. Louis Zoo

“You're going to be the happiest in the place that best aligns who you think you are with who you really want to be.”

INTERESTS:

Environment & Nature Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Character Education Money & Financial Security Perseverance Opportunity Doubt Goals Experience Inspiration Success Passion Values

FOUNDATION:

Accomplishing Goals

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up in Puerto Rico and attended college in the United States.
  • Says that it was a rough transition-he missed his friends, his family, and Puerto Rican food.
  • He always knew that he wanted to work with animals; attended the veterinary school at Cornell University.
  • Says that veterinary school was tough; he spent eight years taking very competitive classes, and had to take out multiple loans to fulfill his dream.
  • While he was at Cornell, someone told him, "the best zoo in the United States is the St. Louis Zoo."
  • He decided to visit and was struck by how much the workers cared for the animals and their conservation in the wild.
  • One of his goals was to be "that guy" who could help protect an animal species from going extinct.
  • Says that there is always more to animals than their appearances, and the same goes for people.

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