Alexis High is one step closer to fulfilling her dream of becoming a veterinarian.
High will become the first graduate of UNCP’s Veterinary Education Access Scholars Program, a pathway initiative formed four years ago granting a select number of biology students guaranteed acceptance into N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine program. She is on track to complete her biology degree in May and begin the veterinary program this summer.
“I was very honored, first of all, to be selected. Of course, I wanted to prove they didn’t make a mistake in choosing me. Even though I was guaranteed a spot, I was still nervous until I received my acceptance email. Being a part of the Veterinary Education Access Scholars Program made the application process less stressful,” High said.
“I’m so excited and eternally grateful for this opportunity.”
The early admission program serves as a pipeline to prepare undergraduates for a career at one of the top veterinary schools in the nation. Qualified students are paired with academic advisors from both institutions. They are required to complete academic requirements for a bachelor of science degree at UNCP and meet all academic needs for admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine program.
“I had a really good experience at UNCP,” High said. “I was involved with HCAP, and my advisor, Natalya Locklear helped guide me through the classes I needed to be prepared for prior to vet school. I enjoy the small class sizes, and the professors in the biology and chemistry departments want students to succeed. Getting to know my professors was a big thing for me.”
High, who was raised on a large animal farm in Laurel Hill, has gained real-world experience working at animal hospitals in Laurinburg, Florida and Pineview Veterinary Hospital’s mobile unit in Bolton.
Sonya Goveo will be joining High at N.C. State this summer. Though she didn’t participate in the early admission program, Goveo said her UNCP experience has fully prepared her to be successful.
After earning her biology degree in 2018, Goveo worked at Southeastern Veterinary Hospital before joining the staff at Raleigh Community Veterinary Hospital.
A career practicing veterinary medicine has been a lifelong goal for Goveo, whose passion for caring for animals began at a young age during trips to visit family in Puerto Rico.
“There was an obvious difference in the treatment of the local pets and the stray population in Puerto Rico. The lack of preventative medicine and basic overall care of the animals was unbelievable. I aspire to teach my community and fulfill my passion.”
Goveo, a former member of UNCP’s swim team, credits her academic advisor John Roe, former UNCP staff member Ian Stroud and the Center for Student Success staff for her smooth transition to N.C. State.
“This has always been my dream growing up. I have put in the work, but I attribute much of my success to UNCP as a whole. I had a strong support system at UNCP with my professors and the staff. They drove me to pursue my dream.”