LET US INTRODUCE OURSELVES
Animal Hero Kids is an all volunteer organization.
Susan Hargreaves – Executive Director, Founder & Author- A Renowned Educator and Activist
Susan travels the world celebrating, courageous and compassionate action by kids and teens. She infuses Animal Hero Kids with the passion, wisdom and determination acquired during a lifetime devoted to animal activism. By zeroing in on kindness education, Susan plays an essential role supporting, encouraging and empowering youth to build a more compassionate world for all animals.
Animal Hero Kids’ dynamic volunteer executive director, Susan creates and
presents interactive humane education programs around the globe. Each
exciting presentation concludes with cruelty-free vegan fare. Her programs,
which often showcase stories of outstanding acts of kindness by youth, have
been featured extensively in national and international media.
- Investigated animal abuse at stockyards, rodeos and circuses. Closed down two rodeos, and exposed the inherent, routine cruelty perpetrated at circuses, factory farms, and the practice of “sport” hunting.
- Author of Animal Hero Kids, Voices for the Voiceless, which earned the Skipping Stone Honor award.
- Rehabilitated and released injured and orphaned wildlife in South Florida. Advocated effectively against the Florida Black Bear family massacre and helped halt the hunt in 2016.
- Created the Animal Hero Kids Awards drawing support from celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix, Jessica Chastain, Ricky Williams, John Salley and Suzy Amis-Cameron.
- The first to create interactive, dramatizations where the elementary school children role played in costumes to promote empathy for the animals they are portraying.
- Led ARK-II, the Canadian Animal Rights network. She gained national media coverage by creating innovative, colorful, direct action campaigns. Initiated International Day of the Seal actions in 50 cities, globally.
- Hosted and piloted the first radio series in Toronto dedicated to animal protection, Animal Voices. Hosted two radio series in South Florida on animal issues.
- Author of children’s coloring/activity/story book, The Hare-Raising Adventures of Rabbitta the III & Animal Hero Tips
- Founder of EarthKind, a non-profit humane education organization. She served as Chairperson for EarthSave International’s Miami Chapter. Susan also customized a school field trip education center to host professionals, students to learn how to be heroes for animals and provided vegan fare as part of the program.
- Shining World Leadership Award for Compassion, awarded by the Supreme master Ching Hai International Association, the creator of the global Loving Hut vegan restaurants franchise.
- Distinguished Educator Award presented by Share the World, an international humane education organization.
- Eco-Hero Humane and Environmental Education Award by NALITH, Inc.
- Compassionate Educator Award by Archbishop R. McKenzie.
- The Pegasus Foundation’s Wings Award for advancing unique partnerships for the good of all animals
- Heralded in the “Best Environmentalists” List Broward / Palm Beach New Times 2016.
- Earned emigration into the United States in the person of extraordinary ability category –reserved for Olympic athletes- for her groundbreaking humane education programs. The U.S. government ascertained she is in the top 5 percent of her field.
Jane Goodall wrote in her reference letter for Susan. “Susan’s’ skills and ingenuity as a humane educator are vitally needed…It is precisely the type of outstanding educational programs Susan creates that benefits any community”
In the Shining World Leadership in Compassion Award letter it was stated “Since 1980 you have been educating in schools empowering children to help save animals. Turning vegan in 1985 after investigating the livestock industry, your heartfelt compassion perfectly welded with wisdom creating a warrior uniting youth who speak out against injustice and animal cruelty.”
The Loving Hut Market in Orlando’s’ provided superb vegan fare for the “Shining World Leadership Award for Compassion” presentation and VeganTV interview taping. Ronnie V Cow was mooooved by the generosity and kindness evidenced by all.
See short reference video for schools here
You can contact Susan at SusanH@AnimalHeroKids.org
“Humane Education is long term life insurance for the animals and the planet” -Susan Hargreaves
Sangeeta Kumar – Animal Hero Kids Canada Director
Sangeeta has been a humane educator ever since her first encounter with Susan Hargreaves. She was 16 years old when the Animal Hero Kids founder presented a program in her high school. Sangeeta asked Susan’s organization to help her with a class project to learn more about the plight of animals. Sangeeta presented her presentation to her entire school. Susan inspired her to become vegan and an activist in her own high school.
She has her undergraduate degree in Environmental Leadership and her M. Ed. specializing in Humane Education. For 5 years she worked as the Education Coordinate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals where she helped to create the first ever social justice curriculum which included animal rights.
Having spoken to thousands of youth in inner city schools to Ivy League schools such at Princeton and Stanford she is both eloquent and inspiring. Professors have this to say about her:
“Her confidence, connection with students, and ability to field students’ questions was remarkable, no mean feat.”
Robert C. Jones, Ph. D, Department of Philosophy, Stanford University
“…what distinguishes her from most is that she infects her audience with her enthusiasm, vision and compassion”
Prad Basu, adjunct faculty, Union University
Currently she runs her own photography company and is busy launching Animal Hero Kids in Canada.
Korin Sutton – Vegan Fitness Advisor
I believe in the saying,”You are what you eat.” I truly believe this too the core. I have been vegan for about 4 year and I love how I feel, think, look, and how I am giving back not just to the animals but to the planet. Living and eating with compassion has changed my life completely. I was in the military for about 8 years and have served in OIF III AND IV. With that said I have seen a lot of death, poverty, hate, destruction, captivity, and many horrible things and the dark side of war.I believe that it is time to shine a light of peace and upon this country and let us be aware of what’s important in this world. Peace, love, compassion, connection, and life. As Mahatma Gandi says,” Violence begins with the fork.”
“I volunteer with Animal Hero Kids to support young hearts and minds. Seeing compassion and love at such an early age is the most beautiful thing! I love to help Animal hero Kids, Inc to continue to influence others to see love can conquer hate no matter what age!”
Chelsea Davis – Voices for the Voiceless Youth Summit and Celebration Organizer
It is clear that Chelsea Davis dedicates her life to helping animals and youth when you look at her involvement in the movement. Aside from her volunteer work as a board member for Out to Pasture where she sits as Chair of Fundraising Events Standing Committee, she raises money and volunteers for a number of other charities, attends protests against rodeos, circuses, and the use of animal skins, uses her training as a certified humane educator to teach courses on vegan living, and continues to harness the power of social media to drive change. Chelsea brings lots of experience in vegan event and outreach coordination as the former coordinator for FARM’s annual Animal Rights National Conference, Portland VegFest,
the Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference, national outreach campaigns, and more. Chelsea states “Since a child, my passions have always included helping and empowering youth and others to save animals and grow themselves. I am honored to be involved with Animal Hero Kids, a charity working tirelessly to achieve these goals!”
Erin Fontes – Board Member & Project Development Director
Erin Fontes is the newest member of the Animal Hero Kids Team as Project Development Director. She brings with her technical, business and creative acumen from other projects such as her most recent role as Managing Director with the Broward County Film Society, as well as Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator with the Humane Society for Greater Savannah and others.
Erin is a writer currently working on her first novel; a comedic and heart-felt approach to helping children and young adults understand how to live with cancer, spoken through the voices of animals. She believe in the creative voice, especially those that embody personalities of animals and integrates its importance in all aspects of her life.
When she’s not working, you will find her advocating and volunteering to help the homeless, with hospice, and re-homing lost and found animals. Erin began volunteering at a very early age, values volunteerism as a way of life and is passionate about her newest endeavor with Animal Hero Kids and plant-based living.
Connie Heidbuechel, CIPS, Lic. Real Estate Broker – Board Member
Connie is multilingual (English-German-Greek) and the CEO/Broker at Florida Real Estate 24/7, LLC. She was born, raised and educated in Germany. Besides running her real estate business, Connie has a passion for helping animals. She became a Vegetarian in 1993 and over the years eliminated more and more dairy products from her diet. She joined the local SPCA’s Board of Directors in 1997, shortly after moving to the US, and she is affiliated with local animal rescue groups.
“I truly believe that Animal Hero Kids tackles the root of the problem – teaching children compassion and respect for all living beings early on, helping to prevent future animal abuse and cruelty and to generally making the world a better place for all living creatures”.
Connie’s hobbies include fitness, wake boarding and she overall believes in a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle. “I am grateful for the opportunity to support such a wonderful cause”.
Christina Ku, Esq. – 辜念纯
Christina Ku is a bi-lingual (Mandarin and English) attorney/business woman who has appeared on Chinese radio and television stations as an expert speaker on health care, immigration, employment law and animal welfare issues. She has been featured in numerous Chinese newspaper articles concerning her legal and advocacy work in the community.
Ms. Ku is proud to serve on the board of Animal Hero Kids (AHK) as she believes the education work of Animal Hero Kids is one of the most effective ways to engage the public to learn about the inter-connectedness of animals, environment and humans. Ms. Ku will be instrumental in shaping and growing the organization with foresight in fundraising, marketing and developing unique AHK activities. Ms. Ku has spearheaded many successful and unique fundraising events for animal rights nonprofits in Los Angeles. She is also very active in participating in protests to bring awareness to the public about the horrendous industries and cruelty in the exploitation of animals for fur, leather, down feather, captive animals for entertainment, puppy/dog breeding mills, and factory farming of animals. She also engages with the public regarding animal issues on a regular basis while conducting vegan outreach in Santa Monica, Ca.
Robert Ruderman – Wildlife Coexistence Director
Robert has been working for the protection of animals since 2008 in various capacities including Humane Educator, Wildlife Rescuer, Captive Wildlife Specialist, and Undercover Cruelty Investigator. His goal as AHK’s Wildlife Coexistence Director is to educate kids of all ages and adults how to peacefully coexist with wildlife and to provide humane solutions for all human-wildlife conflicts.
Robert has responded to thousands of wildlife emergencies and conflicts in Florida. In his words: “Rescuing a sick, injured, or orphaned animal in the field is always a profound and emotional experience for me. It is also, of course, profound and emotional experience for the animal. It is very clear to me in these moments just how innocent, vulnerable, and helpless these animals are. These moments fuel and fortify my courage, my sense of urgency, and my commitment to protect and defend all animals.”
AHK’s wildlife presentations and workshops are designed and customized for schools, camps, residential communities, homeowners associations, facilities/maintenance/golf course management & staff, governmental agencies, police, firefighters, nonprofits, businesses, and many other groups. Robert also offers safe wild animal handling workshops. We use engaging, interactive, multimedia programs (including costumed characters for the young ones) to demonstrate the key components to wildlife coexistence, rescue, and protection.
If you are interested in a complimentary wildlife presentation or workshop, please contact us at SusanH@AnimalHeroKids.org. Because Animal Hero Kids is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, we request a donation which allows us to continue to reach approximately 30,000 students and adults each year with our humane education programs.
Sean Russell – Marketing and Communications Director
Sean Russell is a seasoned media producer, marketing professional and educator who believes in living cruelty-free. He currently serves as the District Webmaster for Broward County Public Schools and volunteers at Silver Ridge Elementary where he teaches children how to produce digital content.
After a chance encounter with Susan Hargreaves at a vegan expo, Sean agreed to play the role of Ronnie V. Cow. He would later jump at the opportunity to volunteer with Animal Hero Kids, allowing him to combine his passions for being an advocate for children, compassionate vegan and media producer.
Mikaela Barnes – Board Member
Mikaela is a 20-something year old living and working in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She works as a vegan pastry chef by day, but is also a recipe developer, micro blogger and lover of ALL animals. Just a few years ago Mikaela was unhappily pushing papers at a law firm. In 2012, she decided to quit her job and pursue her passion for food. Mikaela attended the Living Cuisine Academy and received her Raw Food Chef Certification. It was there that Mikaela learned the importance of using wholesome, responsibly farmed, organic ingredients. Mikaela has been working as the Pastry Chef for Greenbar and Kitchen, a strictly plant-based restaurant located in Fort Lauderdale since September 2015. Mikaela’s intention is to make plant-based food as mind blowing as possible. She believes that “all beings will benefit from humans incorporating more plants into their diets.”She is known as the “Non-dairy Fairy”. After being asked to participate in the 2016 Vegan Cookie Challenge, hosted by Animal Hero Kids, Mikaela knew she wanted to be a part of this charity. Hearing stories of children showing such compassion toward all living beings was such an inspiration to her.
Catherine Craig – Board Member & Director of Strategic Planning and Compliance
Catherine’s professional background includes decades in Finance and Marketing as well as serving on numerous boards of not-for-profit organizations. Since childhood, her number one passion has always been about helping animals and protecting the environment. After becoming a Vegan years ago, she has immersed herself in Plant-Based and Animal Rights education. Catherine’s philosophy is that teaching children compassion for animals at an early age is one of the best ways to protect the future of animals and the planet. Her hobbies include writing, fitness, cooking and activism.