Allison was born in the small seaside town of Fort Pierce, Florida. The eldest of seven children, she and her siblings were raised by their single, deaf mother, in a low income household.
Allison has overcome many hurdles on her journey to veterinary school. In her undergraduate career, she worked part-time, attended classes and pre-veterinary club meetings all while providing support for her family in Fort Pierce. She became the first person in her family to graduate college and succeeded in being accepted to her number one choice of veterinary school, UF, on her first application cycle. She said, “I am proud of my progress, but I have no intentions on slowing down.”
Allison is enrolled in the shelter medicine certificate program where she is learning how to properly manage a shelter from the leading experts in the field. She says, “The knowledge I receive from this program will be invaluable when I am running my own shelter and may also help me find a job as a shelter veterinarian.”
Allison has been fascinated with animals since her earliest memories. She recalls a pivotal moment at age six. Watching Animal Cops on the Animal Planet Network, she followed the story of a dog fighting ring bust in Miami, Florida. After seeing veterinarians heal the animals and help them find loving homes, she said that her heart was broken for the dogs and that there was nothing else she’d rather do than help animals. She remembers turning to her mom, with tears running down her face and saying, “I want to be an animal doctor when I grow up.” Her mom’s response, “You can do it sweetie” and despite all of the challenges she’s faced along the way, her mom’s encouraging words are always a reminder to never give up.
Allison said her favorite thing about the UF College of Veterinary Medicine is, “How dedicated they are to helping students like me.” She goes on to say, “The Office of Admissions is dedicated to accepting well rounded, caring, and kind students from diverse backgrounds and our Office of Advancement actively searches for opportunities to help students in need. The faculty truly care about their students and I consider them my second family. On top of that, the education we receive is top of the line! I love the array of unique programs offered.”
When Allison learned she was receiving this scholarship, she stated “Your donation is going to change lives, thank you so much for your generosity! I hope I can repay the sentiment as a veterinarian and help another deserving student one day. This scholarship will help me get out of debt quicker and on my path to opening my own practice and helping pets and their people.” She said thus far, she has received two very generous scholarships that have rendered her first two years of veterinary school tuition free. She said, “These opportunities have alleviated my fears about the large debt most veterinary students face and allow me to focus more on my grades and classes rather than worrying about debt and bills.”
Allison has many ambitions after graduation. First, she plans to work in a small animal private practice or shelter medicine setting until she has paid off her debt. Then, she plans to open her own practice with emphasis on accessibility for the disabled and low income families and will offer volunteering and mentoring experiences to local students. She also aspires to open a no-kill shelter for animals who are at risk of euthanasia due to medical conditions. Finally, she wants to change the future for other disadvantaged youths by speaking to them about the importance and accessibility of education and encouraging them to follow their dreams.