CANYON, TX (KFDA) - West Texas A&M University senior Sara Friedmann is the first volunteer "puppy raiser" on a college campus in Texas to raise for Canine Companions for Independence.
CCI a non-profit organization that aims to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.
"It's just something that's really, really rewarding. It's a way to give back to someone who has a disability that you may not cross paths with in a normal life," said Sara Friedmann.
Friedmann said being the trailblazer for WT's campus allows her to spread the word about the non-profit organization.
"Being the first one on WT's campus, I get a lot of looks, I get a lot of 'awws,'" said Friedmann. "But, I also get the opportunity to educate, to advocate, and to teach people what CCI is, who they go to, and what the process is."
In addition to full-time staff, the organization relies on four types of volunteers: local volunteers, service club members, breeder caretakers and puppy raisers like Friedmann.
WT's Student Disabilities Center says Friedmann is really setting the standard for future programs like CCI's to operate on campus.
"We want it to be a progressive program, but we needed someone who could set the standard for the program," said Director of Student Disabilities Services Paul Fenstermaker. "Sara did a great job of that."
"We always say you raise a puppy to change a life and HELP is a four-legged word, but, CCI really wants to train and raise well-rounded dogs that can serve someone to live a more individual life," said Friedmann.