Amaya Pelayo

Tell us about your background (education, work, journey, experiences).

I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz as a first-generation college student in the spring of 2023. I earned my bachelor’s degree in both Biology and Art. I started volunteering at my local animal shelter during my college career. My interest in this field became solidified when I worked as a Veterinary Assistant at an Exotics Pet Clinic in my area.

How is/was this program beneficial for you?

This program has been beneficial to me in a variety of ways. As a first-generation college student, navigating the application cycle can be difficult. This program has provided me with many mentorship opportunities. The program leaders go out of their way to be accessible and supportive. I am thankful to have found an amazing community within this cohort.

What part of the program did you find most impactful (specific course, mentoring, community, skill development, etc.)? Describe that impact.

The weekly, problem-based learning cases are extremely impactful. It can be difficult to find time to reason behind each case in hands-on experience. These meetings allow you to challenge your thinking and broaden your understanding of a range of cases.

What is one thing you would say to someone considering this program?

I highly encourage this program to pre-vet students from any experience level and background. This is the perfect way to connect with other pre-vet students, gain mentorship during the application cycle, and deepen your animal medicine knowledge.

What’s next in your journey (vet school, graduate school, work, etc.)?

I am in the process of applying to this upcoming cycle of vet school while continuing to gain more experience.