Heritage High School

On behalf of the students and staff in the Comprehensive Development Classroom at Heritage High School, I would like to recommend Wilderwood Service Dogs to your grant committee. Wilderwood has consistently worked directly with our Special Needs classroom. My students feel a great sense of ownership and pride as the service dogs they train with develop skills and move on to their new homes. 

Nicole Ballard, a Wilderwood trainer, makes each visit educational for both my students and the service dog. She teaches not only how to train dogs but why the dog needs certain skills. My students love the weekly visits and the relationships they build with the service dogs. 

They have met with a service dog recipient and regularly receive feedback from owners about the dogs they have had a hand in training. The stories about the impact these service dogs have made in the owners’ lives gives my students a great sense of achievement. My students have participated in out of school events with Wilderwood because they are deeply invested in the program. I have students who are interested in working as foster’s for Wilderwood as a job when they graduate from high school. 

Our relationship with Wilderwood is a meaningful one that we value beyond words. The visits allow the dogs in training to learn in a school environment with students with disabilities. My students have gained confidence, self awareness, and a connection to their community. The Wilderwood program has positively impacted the lives of my students. Their mission and commitment to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities and service dogs is why we highly recommend Wilderwood Service Dogs to your grant committee.