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Animals Make New Friends as Student Organizes Class Trip

Jul 06, 2016 08:16AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

Allexis Bonacci talks with her dad, Griffin Bonacci, during a tour of the Humane Society of Utah. Allexis organized a day for her classmates to groom, care for and play with homeless pets at the shelter. —Travis Barton

Gallery: Animals Make New Friends as Student Organizes Class Trip [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Travis Barton |

Animals at the Humane Society have made some more best friends.

 Allexis Bonacci, a 16-year-old student at Utah Connections Academy, organized a class trip to provide care for homeless pets at the Humane Society of Utah on Friday, May 20.  

 “Just being with the animals is exciting,” Allexis said.

 After taking a short tour, the students spent the afternoon feeding, grooming, caring for and playing with various animals.

 After doing a similar trip the previous year, Allexis said she thought they should do it again.

 “I enjoyed it; we ended up adopting a cat last year. I just want people to get more involved with their community,” Allexis said.

 Griffin Bonacci, Allexis’ dad, said he wasn’t surprised she orchestrated this event.

 “It’s something I’ve instilled in her, to do public service, so I wasn’t surprised she did this, but I was proud of her that she took the initiative to do it,” Griffin said.

 “It’s pretty awesome. [Allexis] is incredible; she just did it,” Adrienne Harvie, Allexis’ teacher at Utah Connections Academy, said.

 Allexis, who along with her dad helped organize one of the school’s largest clothing drives to date, said that when you have a passion like this, it’s important to be heard.

 “A lot of people don’t really pay attention to their community and just ignore it, but there are some people who do and they don’t speak their voice loud enough for more people to get involved,” Allexis said. “So find your passion and volunteer to make your community better.”

 Harvie said it’s rewarding as an educator to see students put together events like helping homeless animals.

 “It makes you feel like the lessons you teach everyone sink in and they can actually go out and do something. It’s not just bookwork,” Harvie said. “It shows that they can be an independent member of the community and take what I know and do something.”

 Allexis said she hopes doing projects like clothing drives and taking time to assist homeless pets can inspire others to do more.

 “It makes people want to step up and say ‘everybody come do this’ and it helps everybody in the long run,” Allexis said.

 Utah Connections Academy is a tuition-free online public school serving students statewide from kindergarten to the 12th grade. The school has more than 850 students enrolled statewide. Allexis said this is a great social opportunity for students.

 “[Students] get to meet new people and it’s better to communicate face to face,” Allexis said.

 “[Allexis] has been really shy growing up, but she’s finally starting to take charge of some of these things, so that part I was really surprised about,” Griffin said.

 Harvie said social events like this help forge friendships between the kids.

 “These are great because they finally get to meet each other. … They become actual friends, which is pretty cool,” Harvie said.

 Allexis wants to be a veterinarian one day, and her house is on its way to looking like an animal doctor’s office itself, with two cats, two rabbits and two sets of fish tanks.

 “We adopted some cats last time we were here, [but] I told her this time there’s no more pets coming home with us. We’re a full house; we’re at our limit,” Griffin said.     λ

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