Where you are from? Linesville, Pennsylvania
What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades? From early on, I learned the value of hard work and integrity. I grew up in a small, blue-collar town and that had a great influence on the vocation I chose to pursue, as well as the occupations my family held. My father was a sheet metal worker and is currently a welder at a tool and die facility, my mother works at a meat processing company, and my brother is a diesel mechanic at a trucking company. After high school I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew the typical 4-year college course wasn’t the route for me. I entered the work force and spent time at a veterinary clinic, therapeutic riding facility, horse boarding farm, and the same meat packing plant as my mom. Not only was I able to experience practically every aspect of the human-animal relationship, but I realized I was good at the tasks involved. I especially loved assisting children with disabilities grow through equine assisted therapy. This coupled with my volunteering at a nonprofit that aided military veterans, sparked in me the passion to assist our veterans with either equine or canine therapy. But realistically I knew I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goals without pursuing a career that actually existed and was in demand.
What field of study are you embarking on?
I finally decided to pursue becoming a Veterinary Technician because it would enable me to work with animals on a daily basis and earn a decent wage at the same time. I hope to use the knowledge I obtain to become a successful technician working with both small companion pets and large farm animals, and pursue my passion of aiding our military veterans through the healing power of our four-legged friends. I applied to the Vet Tech Institute of Pittsburgh and was accepted in February and began school in July of 2018. Three months in I can say that the course is very challenging but rewarding and that its exactly where I am meant to be.
How did you hear about the 2018 Work Ethic Scholarship?
My family and I have always been big fans of Mike Rowe and the attention he brought to the hard-working everyday Americans that make normal life possible for the rest of the world. As I got older, I continued to follow his advocacy for promoting the skilled trades and learned about the Work Ethic Scholarship from his website a few years ago. I decided to apply for this year’s scholarship when I found out I had been accepted to VTI.
What area of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T pledge resonates the most with you as your pursue your new career?
The part of the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge that resonates with me the most is definitely the seventh promise. Showing up early, staying late, and volunteering for crappy tasks is an absolute rock-solid part of becoming the best veterinary technician you can be. You are not only responsible for performing your job, but tasked with providing the finest health care you can to the animals in need and their owners who are turning to you for assistance. When your job involves a life, you need to take it seriously and use the skills and knowledge you have gained to do the greatest job you can to care for them. Crappy tasks are literally part of the vocation; it’s just the way the world works. Make the most of what you are doing and make a difference with your work ethic.
A big thank you to Mike Rowe and his amazing foundation as well as the PA Chamber Foundation, and all the other sponsors of this scholarship! Without your assistance I wouldn’t be on the path to achieving both my career and life goals. Thank you!