Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Help me help your best friend

Name: Kaitlyn Jane Mitchell
From: Martinez, CA
Grade: 12
School: Alhambra High School
Votes: 180

I have volunteered for many things through 4-H over the past 12
years. Cleaning up parks, raising money for causes, and helping other
kids. I have volunteered through school: tutoring, cleaning local
areas and such. But my greatest love is my volunteer work at our
county shelter, Contra Costa County Animal Services vet clinic. I
have worked with great doctors and technicians who have graciously
taught me so much. I have been there almost 2 years and have worked
over 230 hours. I have been able to assist on surgeries, give shots,
administer treatments, clean, and help take care of animals who are
lost or abandoned. We have everything from birds, to cats and dogs,
to livestock. My biggest challenge was to learn my place as I am not
an employee and did not know exactly what I was allowed to do even
though I may have known how to do it. I used to wait to be asked to
help, but now, for the most part, I know what to do when I am there
and will do whatever is asked of me. My greatest satisfaction is
watching an animal that came in with a horrible condition continually
get better until it can find a loving home. I have learned that not
every animal can be saved but the ones that can are normally the
sweetest animals in the shelter.

I’ve always known I wanted to be a vet. Looking towards the future I
know that I will have to have time working with veterinarians and
this experience will help me when applying to veterinary school. A
forward looking activity, to me, means an activity that helps to move
up to a higher standard. Volunteering at the animal shelter is
absolutely a forward looking activity. When I asked to volunteer I
knew it would be a great learning experience and no doubt help me to
get into my college of choice. I have gotten into my college of
choice and believe this along with other activities and good grades
were my assets. As a high school student I had to prepare for college
not only intellectually but with the look of my application.

I wanted to learn and build my resume, but it also has been very
rewarding. Our shelter is one of the busiest and understaffed. I know
the employees appreciate the help. I know these animals I help have a
chance at finding their owners or getting a new loving home. These
poor beings without a voice of their own come to us and need care. I
know that for years to come I’ve made a difference because someone
got the chance to reunite with or have a new best friend in the
animals I have helped. People never forget their animals who help
them through good and bad times with their unconditional love. I will
never forget my reason for being is to help animals along with
people.


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