Poland teen named semifinalist in Huggable Heroes competition

Posted April 17, 2012, at 11:59 a.m.

POLAND, Maine — Emily Buell, 18, of Poland has been named a semifinalist in the 2012 search for Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes. She is one of 80 young leaders being recognized for helping make their community and the world a better place.

Buell founded College Bound Canines, a nonprofit organization dedicated to training service dogs for college-bound, physically disabled high school students. On a weekly basis, she trains and teaches classes for the dogs and their handlers — everything from basic obedience skills to service skills, such as picking up dropped objects, turning light switches on and off and throwing away trash. Emily also has educated the community through service dog demonstrations. She hopes to have a College Bound Canine chapter in at least one college in every state.

Ten Huggable Heroes will be selected. Each will receive $10,000 (a $7,500 educational scholarship and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the 501(c)(3) charity or Canadian cause of the Huggable Hero’s choice). In addition, the Huggable Heroes will receive a trip for themselves and one parent, or legal guardian, where they will be celebrated for their work, participate in a professional photo shoot and take part in a community service project.

For information, visit buildabear.com/huggableheroes.