AUGUSTA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas teenager’s volunteerism inspires people of all ages.

“She represents the future,” said Keri Korthlas, director of emergency management for Bulter County.

Korthlas portrays Sutton O’Crowley. Sutton, 14, is a dedicated volunteer and member of the Butler County Animal Response Team, a team that comes to the aid of animals following a disaster. She joined the group when she was only 6 years old.

Sutton completes rope training (Courtesy Jen O’Crowley)

“I really love working with animals and helping people and things like that,” Sutton said. “Since I’ve been with them from such a young age, they’ve made me feel really accepted in the team.”

Sutton’s passion for volunteering comes from his parents. It gives them the skills and the directive to put themselves forward.

“It means helping people without basically being asked. It’s not something you have to do, but it’s something you choose to do because it’s the right thing to do. That’s kind of what my mom and dad taught me. You’re supposed to do the right thing, even if you’re not asked to, she explained.

Through her volunteering, Sutton received CPR and preparedness training. She is proficient in rescue planning and has participated in many events to educate others about the mission of the Butler County Animal Response Team.

“At a young age, she stepped up and showed herself ready to be a leader, ready to be public, to be a face of the team, to interact with the public, to promote readiness,” Korthlas said. “We have a lot of very dedicated volunteers, a lot of people with years of experience behind them, but there will come a time when those volunteers are going to get old, and that leadership is going to pass, so Sutton is one of those who we’re preparing in some way. come out as the next group of leaders.

As a leader, Sutton is also involved in her school’s trap team, cheer team, and bass team, and bowls scholars. She hopes her dedication to activities and volunteerism will inspire others to give a part of themselves to a cause.

“In fact, seeing one of their classmates do what we hope the others will do is a lot more impactful, I think, than asking one of us, the older ones, to come in and tell them. say, hey, you really need to join us,” Korthlas said.

Sutton hopes to one day work as an emergency room physician assistant.