Meet The Intern Team

Miranda Spence, MSW Candidate, AKC Evaluator

Founder/Director of Take A Paws CA, LLC

Internship Supervisor

About Miranda

Take A Paws CA, LLC, founded by dedicated social worker Miranda Spence, is driven by a passion for the profound human-animal bond and its impact on mental health. Miranda's early life in Los Angeles nurtured her love for animals and eventually led to her career in training dogs. She ethically bred and trained golden retrievers and German Shepherds, with many of her puppies becoming service animals, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs. Her academic journey encompassed an associates in both psychology and social and behavioral studies from Moorpark College as well as a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from California State University, Chico.

Miranda's impact extends beyond her work with animals, as she recently earned the CALSWEC Public Behavioral Health Fellowship for her work at the inpatient psychiatric facility she works at, and collaborates with the School of Social Work at Chico State on an Equine Assisted Therapy Certification program. curriculum for professionals as her culminating thesis project for her Masters of Social Work degree. 

Miranda furthered her commitment to fostering the convergence of animal science and mental health by spearheading the development of the Helping Hands Internship. This innovative program serves as a guiding light for students with a shared interest in these disciplines, illuminating the viable path to a career in this emerging field. Through the Helping Hands Internship, Miranda aspires to equip students with the knowledge and insights they need to recognize the profound benefits that can be harnessed from the unique intersection of animal science and mental health.

While these Helping Hands contribute significantly to our mission, it's important to underscore that our primary objective is to nurture their education. This is achieved through structured training sessions, supervision, and hands-on experiential events, all designed to empower and educate these students effectively. By providing them with the tools and insights necessary to excel in this burgeoning field, we hope to enrich their understanding and further their potential contributions to the well-being of both animals and humans.

To learn more about Miranda's background, visit "Creation of TAP"

To learn more about their future plans and how to support their cause, visit "The Future of TAP"

Christopher Gomez

Digital Technology and Social Media Management Intern

Jenny Youker

       Lead AAI Volunteer Coordinator &       Community Partnership Intern

About Chris

My name is Chris Gomez and my background is in Information Technology as well as project management. I have an AAS in Network Design and Network Administration as well as 9 other certificates related to Information Technology from Spokane Community College. I will also have obtained my Bachelor's degree in Applied Technology with a minor in communications from Eastern Washington University. In addition to my education I also have experience with project management as the Vice President of Finance for Eastern Washington University Interfraternal council, as well as holding executive positions within my Fraternity Delta Chi for the past year. I am passionate about technology and its ability to reach all across the globe spreading positive initiatives such as Take A Paws, which help our community connect.

About Jenny

My name is Jenny Youker; I’m an animal lover and Reiki practitioner. I was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. I have experience with events and fundraising for several non-profits in Las Vegas, Nevada. Originally, my plan was focused on only being an event planner, but throughout the years, I have continued to want to do more. Aside from being a Reiki Practitioner, I volunteer at Chico Cat Coalition and Peace of Mind Dog Rescue. Volunteering for both wonderful rescues has made me realize how passionate I am about working with and for animals. I am passionate about holistic healing and believe that the bond that humans and animals have is important, enriching, and powerful. My personal mission is to help people and animals alike find peace, healing, and balance in their lives 

Allison Wagner

Client Relations and Ecotherapy Group Facilitation Intern

Jenamin Felix

          Therapy Animal Behavior and            Training Intern  

Amy Esquivel

Therapeutic Animal Education Specialist Intern

About Allison

Hello, My name is Allison and I am a 4th year Psychology student at Chico State University. I have been involved in multiple psychology labs on campus as well as the counseling training center. I have experience with the Associated student's student government and other AS programs, Summer Orientation, and  The Office of International Engagement. I am passionate about the human-to-animal connection and I am confident in its ability to help people all across the globe 

About Jenamin

 HI, I'm Jenamin Felix, a therapy animal care and training intern and I'm a sophomore at Chico State University studying animal science. I'm also a part of the pre-vet club and I volunteer at the Chico Animal Shelter. I previously worked at a pet camp in San Fransisco as a pet care assistant. My passions are animal care and helping others whenever I can. In my free time, I like to take my dog out for a hike in Upper Bidwell Park and snuggle with him. My ultimate goal is to graduate college and to be a veterinarian, owning my own clinic someday. 

About Amy

Hello, I’m Amy. I am a first generation college student and a fourth year student at Chico State majoring in Animal Science - Pre Vet. I’ve always had a love for animals since I was a child and I always knew I wanted to be able to help both animals and people. My goal is to become a veterinarian and then open up my own low income clinic to make animal and pet care accessible to many and eventually all pet owners.

I believe that animals have a way of understanding and connecting with us when other people may not. Being able to help even just one person connect and release what they are feeling at the moment through the animal-human interaction is what I look forward to, with the opportunity of being a Take A Paws Helping Hand Intern.

Videography and Online Content Creation Intern

Photography and Digital Editing Intern

Currently Recruiting

email if interested

Currently Recruiting

email if interested