NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Forget paid jobs. This summer, many young people are soaking up the benefits of volunteering at The Humane Society of New York, CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported.

Jackson Klavan, 15, started volunteering at the nonprofit animal shelter on the Upper East Side after he and his family adopted their cat, Curly, last year. He works at The Humane Society on Mondays through Fridays during the summer.

“You bond with the animals,” he told Hsu. “You get to see them go to good homes. It’s fun.”

Sisters Gigi and Michele Montas have been volunteering for six years. They do administrative work, clean cages and help socialize animals who’ve often had a tough start.

Socializing the animals with people helps their chances of getting adopted, but also reminds “them that we care about them and we want to spend time with them,” said Gigi, 18.

Michele started working at The Humane Society when she was 10 years old, making her the youngest volunteer at the time.

“There was a volunteer who was the oldest volunteer, and she was 80-something years old, and I was like, ‘Ooh, when I’m older, I’m going to be the oldest volunteer,'” Michele said. “I really want to continue when you’re older, like just be a volunteer for life.”

Mariel Covo, 20, who is studying to be a vet at Yale University, started volunteering at The Humane Society in the sixth grade.

“Being able to shadow veterinarians and see procedures … really opened my world of veterinary medicine and made me realize that this is definitely what I want to do,” she said.

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