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  about flying higher
Main Image Jo Santiago, creator of Flying Higher, has been providing professional educational presentations with birds of prey since 1989. Over the years, her educational effort has reached both urban and rural audiences in 10 states from Washington, D.C. to Chicago, Ill with an audience of over 150,000 people. For over 20 years, Jo worked as a researcher, wildlife biologist, naturalist and nature center director for the USDA - Forest Service in the East, Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains. In 2007, she moved on to officially create Flying Higher, LLC. Jo has an M.S. degree in Biological Sciences.

As a Hispanic woman who grew up in Spanish Harlem in New York City, Jo understands the challenges and obstacles that must be overcome to follow ones dreams and realize ones goals that apply to everyone, from urban to rural areas and from the elementary school room to the corporate board room. Through Flying Higher, Jo uses her life experiences, and 20 years of dedication to the rescue and rehabilitation of injured or ill birds of prey, to inspire and motivate youth and adults alike to follow their passion and live their dream.

A lively and highly engaging speaker, Jo offers unique, entertaining, and inspiring programs and training customized to meet the goals of her clients. Whether the client's goal is to primarily educate, entertain, provide business training, or exhibit, Flying Higher delivers an enjoyable experience and a refreshing change from the norm that draws and holds the audience's interest. With her hawks and owls, Jo utilizes a rare approach to management training that can hardly be found elsewhere. Clients will always remember this life enhancing experience.

The real teachers of Flying Higher are permanently injured non-releasable raptors that could not survive in the wild. Jo, in fact, serves as their interpreter. These birds, some of which can live up to 30 years, have found a permanent home with Jo in the wild mountains of West Virginia. The experience of living with these birds on a daily basis has given her extensive insight to their individual personalities, behaviors, needs, idiosyncrasies, and body language remarkably like our own. In learning about them, we learn about ourselves.

Each hawk or owl is provided with its own "mews," which is the term for housing built specifically for birds of prey, customized for the particular needs of each bird. The mews are connected indoor and outdoor facilities, so each bird can come and go at will. Jo is committed to providing each resident bird with the highest quality of care in a safe, private and peaceful forest setting that is the next best thing to being free.  See the Fox News segment video about Flying Higher at www.wchstv.com/traveling/2009/twv090604.shtml .


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Jo is the winner of the:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service 2006 "Best of the Best" Regional Honor Award
  • 2002 World Educational Meritorious Achievement Recognition Award Recipient sponsored by the Olympic Games Spirit of the Lands