Cove High prepares student for dream career in veterinary science
Special to Leader-Press
Copperas Cove High School 2020 graduate Amayah James has always had the goal of becoming a veterinarian. Thanks to Copperas Cove High School and Copperas Cove ISD, she is on track to make her dream come true.
“Ever since I was six, whenever I was around animals, I just felt that spark and connection that this is what I want to do with my life,” James said. “CCHS really supported my career path by taking me through the steps of which classes I needed to take, what to expect, and giving me the chance to get hands-on experience at a clinic. The school set up my internship with Crossroads Veterinary Hospital and paid the fee for me to test to become a veterinary assistant.”
Veterinary assistants monitor the health conditions of animal patients; take diagnostic images with sophisticated equipment; provide veterinarians with surgical, dental, anesthetic, and other types of assistance; restrain animals during routine examinations; process laboratory samples; liaison with pet-owners; prepare vaccines and serums; maintain clinic inventory; and ensure the smooth functioning of the veterinary office.
James began working in a paid position at the veterinary clinic earlier this month and the job is everything she hoped it would be.
“With Covid-19 happening and some clinics not taking new clients we are more busy then I expected, but the experience is still amazing,” James said. “We have so many appointments and the phones are always ringing. It’s all fast-paced and everyone’s moving non-stop. But, I love it. The most rewarding thing about all this is seeing the happy animals and knowing that we helped them.”
Copperas Cove High School blends classroom training with hands-on experience with live animals, said CCHS Associate Principal and Career and Technology Education Director Kevin Shipley.
“Amaya is an outstanding student with a great work ethic as demonstrated by her completion of the certification program,” Shipley said. “Our students have great success in this program. We are grateful to our local veterinarians who help the school district provide this program for our students.”
James attends Tarleton State University in the fall, majoring in pre-veterinary medicine. She is evaluating the management of her time and starting college while working at a veterinary clinic.
“I’m not sure about working at a veterinary clinic my freshman year just because I want to get used to all my classes and making my rounds around the school. But, I definitely do want to work at a veterinary clinic my sophomore year,” James said. “As far as coming back and working at Crossroads Veterinary Hospital on my breaks, I would love to continue helping out in any way that I can.”
Each year, Copperas Cove High School has 10 to 15 students who enroll in the veterinary assistant class and another 30 who begin the program as high school juniors.
“This whole experience has been so amazing and I’m glad I got this opportunity to follow my dream and make this a reality,” James said. “Hard work and dedication really do pay off and I’m grateful to everyone who’s pushed me to do my best.”