Jesse Kline: ZOOming to the Top

In second grade, Jesse Kline couldn’t tie his shoes, tell time or ride a bike, nor was he showing any signs of reading or writing. At age 10, he was diagnosed with severe learning disabilities, including dyslexia and dysgraphia. Once full of life, he became irritable and depressed. Then Jesse started attending school for students with LD, where he regained his self-confidence and discovered his passion for animals.

At 13 he volunteered at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in Frederick, MD. When he moved to Baltimore, he signed up at the Maryland Zoo, where he has given over 400 hours in service as a Maryland Wilderness Junior Zookeeper. In 2006 he was selected as one of 14 students worldwide to train as an Arctic Ambassador tracking polar-bear migration and climate change on the Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada.

Back home Jesse organized a zoo outreach program, taking animals into school and recently led an event, raising over $600 for the Wild Life Warrior Foundation in memory of his hero, the late Australian crocodile hunter Steve Irwin.

At 17, Jesse made the decision to graduate a year early from Jemicy High School in Towson, MD in order to study biology and animal sciences in college.

Jesse is a former Youth Achievement Award Winner.