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First-year Student’s Avocation for Raising Seeing Eye Puppies Leads to Scholarship

Headshot of Katie Jeanes in her Lacrosse uniform

Katherine “Katie” Jeanes, a first-year student from Lititz, PA, had a bit of help funding her studies at York College through a scholarship awarded by The Seeing Eye, the oldest and one of the largest guide dog schools in the United States. The organization is located in Morristown, NJ, and was founded in 1929.

Katie was among a group of 30 “exceptional college-bound puppy raisers” awarded a scholarship. To qualify, students were required to have raised at least two Seeing Eye puppies, demonstrated a high level of academic achievement, and were active in their communities.

Katie started raising puppies with her mom in 2017, after meeting a woman and her Seeing Eye puppy-in-training at the dentist’s office. “I was very interested right away,” she says. “Since then, my family has raised four dogs, one of which has returned to The Seeing Eye’s headquarters, is currently finishing up his formal training, and getting ready to be matched in the coming months.”

Puppy raisers essentially foster puppies bred by The Seeing Eye until they are old enough – around 15 months – to undergo guide dog training, according to Katie. “It’s our job to teach them basic commands, familiarize them with a variety of public environments, and observe how they react to different stressful situations (loud noises, new people, etc.) so that their future trainers can work with them in the most efficient manner possible.”

Although she cannot continue to help with the puppies as a student, Katie manages to fill her days at York College with other activities. She’s a member of the Women’s Lacrosse Team, a Graphic Design major, and a Presidential Research Fellow.

“Most of my time is spent in class, working on schoolwork, working on the beginning stages of my research for my scholarship program, going to lacrosse practice/workouts, coaching for my former club lacrosse team, and spending time with my friends/teammates,” she says.

She’s busy but happy with her decision to become a Spartan. “I found York College through my lacrosse recruiting process and loved everything about it the moment I stepped onto campus. It was the perfect fit academically, athletically, financially, and location-wise.”