WACO, TX — It's no shock that Texans love their animals and caring for those animals is a big task, sometimes we need veterinarians to help us through those difficult moments. Waco ISD had Vet Day during their Summer Enrichment Program, a summer school to inspire kids and possible future careers.
Grace Scott is going into third grade and she already knows she wants to be a vet when she grows up.
"I feel like this is the thing I was meant to do," Scott said.
Dressing up in her scrubs and carrying her stethoscope she was ready to look at all the animals brought in by Super Serpentss, they taught the kids how they care for animals you might not find in every home. Looking at snakes, spiders and bearded dragons, owner Don May always has a blast teaching kids about these very special animals.
"It's rewarding, and to get them past facing a fear it's something to watch that growth in the matter of minutes," May said.
Scott was hesitant to pet those really big snakes but she came around to the idea when it was time to learn.
"I really wanted to examine the animals, that's why I brought this," Scott said showing off her stethoscope.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows veterinarian job growth has been at a steady increase since 2018. However, in the next ten years this profession is expected to grow 3 times faster than the average rate of national job growth.
May explains that he knows how to care for these animals but it's always important to have a vet on stand by if he needed care for one of his scaly friends.
"There are certain needs of these animals and if you don't have somebody there's no one to help them when they get sick," May said.
Scott is hoping to be that one to help when the time comes. Gifted and Talented Coordinator for the Enrichment Program Gina Pasisis says it's about setting goals but more importantly keeping up with learning during these summer months.
"If we can get students excited about their future careers and opportunities for college in elementary school, we can ensure academic success," Pasisis said.
With the pandemic there are worries that kids didn't absorb all the information they normally would in a school year so this summer school will help fill that need.
"We do see that we have some gaps because of the pandemic but we're doing everything to fill those gaps as quickly as possible," Pasisis said.
The average salary is $98,827 and currently women dominate this workforce by nearly 30 thousand more, compared to men. By 2028 there should be 94,600 vets.
With the Waco ISD program Pasisis sees the students engaged, ready to learn and excited for each day. Something they may not have felt over the last year.
"Children have the right for learning opportunities that include collaboration, interaction, critical thinking, creativity, rich literacy and problem solving," Pasisis said.
When you ask Scott why she wants to be a vet the answer is easy and her time in school made that decision even easier.
"Animals help humans but whenever I help the animals, I feel like I'm helping the humans too," Scott said.