Pacific Rim Foundation
Daniel Osborne

Mackenzie Drake (right), with Ucluelet
SCAT program that she founded

Update from MacKenzie Drake, 2013 Recipient

May 7, 2015

Another year has sped by and I feel like I am getting closer to choosing and applying to the right vet schools for me. Last summer I worked at Whiskey Landing Lodge in Ucluelet, and spent my free time planning fundraisers for Ukee S.C.A.T. We held a garage sale of donated items and had a booth at Ukee Days where we sold frozen treats and provided information. The work that we have done with the cats has clearly worked as we have not had any feral kittens in over a year. This has allowed us to focus our efforts on helping low income citizens of Ucluelet with the cost of transporting and spaying/neutering their cats. There are still feral colonies that are being fed daily, but they are no longer growing. After the summer I moved to Victoria where I lived with my childhood best friend and attended university.

I transferred from UPEI to UVic this year in order to be closer to home. I attended school full time first semester taking sciences classes that will be beneficial for vet school. During first semester I joined a recreation soccer team through the university. Other than that I spent most of my time studying and researching international vet schools that are accredited with the American Veterinary Medical Association. I have chosen three universities to apply to this fall. St. Georges University in True Blue on the island of Grenada which would start in January of 2016, Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, and Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand both of which start in late February/ early March of 2016. I have chosen to attend an international university in order to get the experience of living in a different country while getting a degree in veterinary medicine.

I took second semester off from full time school in order to focus on getting the required volunteer experience in a vet clinic needed for my vet school application. I volunteered at the Victoria-Glanford Animal Hospital twice a week until I moved back to Ucluelet. I also worked at a hotel in Victoria and took a Spanish class at Uvic.

I moved back to Ucluelet at the beginning of April and jumped right in to working at Whiskey Landing Lodge again and continuing my volunteer work with Ukee S.C.A.T. and the C.A.R.E. Network. I also have a road trip planned with a few friends through B.C and Alberta for the first couple of weeks of May. Once I return I will be volunteering at a vet clinic or two in Port Alberni to continue gaining knowledge and experience in the veterinary field. I will be staying and working in Ucluelet until I hear whether or not I have been accepted to a vet school for next year. Upon acceptance I will be moving to a new country and starting a program to get my degree. If I am not accepted into any of the three programs I am planning to take a year off to travel and figure out the best way for me to gain my degree.

The Pacific Rim Foundation has allowed me to actually consider attending an international university without turning away because of the daunting international tuition prices. I was able to focus my energy on school for the first semester without financial stress and then defer my scholarship until I have applied to and hopefully been accepted in to a vet school. This scholarship has continued to allow me to follow my dream of becoming a veterinarian even with a few bumps and changes along the way.

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