When Amber Streicher ’16 read the email notifying her that she had won the 2013-14 Westminster Kennel Foundation Scholarship, she wondered if it was really meant for someone else. Shocked that she had been chosen, Amber is also honored and very thankful. Pursuing a career in veterinary medicine has been a dream since she was old enough to pronounce the word, despite the fact that to do so, she would need to borrow money every year.
“I know that repaying my loans will be approximately a mortgage payment, but it will be worth it,” said Streicher. “I will just have to work hard. This scholarship means I can borrow less. I’m thankful that there are people who are willing to help veterinary students afford school.”
The Westminster Scholarship has been offered to veterinary school students since 1990. The Foundation has awarded 127 scholarships, totaling $1.16 million, according to the Foundation’s web site and support some of the nation’s most promising veterinary students.
Students like Streicher. A self-described dog person, the 20-something has been involved in 4-H-sponsored canine activities for more than a decade and has shadowed veterinarians for over seven years, serving as an assistant whenever she can, absorbing knowledge shared by the veterinarians she’s shadowing, and gaining important communication skills as she watches the interaction between veterinarian and client.
As a first-year veterinary student at Cornell, Streicher was an active member of Surgery Club, VBMA, SVECCS, and Small Animal Clinical Skills Club, and participated in the Fall Dog Wash, a community event that raises money for charitable causes, as well as the College’s annual Open House. When she’s not in class or studying, Streicher enjoys reading, traveling, and swimming. 4-H continues to be a part of her life, although her role has changed from participant to educator with various canine programs and, when she can, she continues to train and show her Keeshond, Kandea, in AKC-sponsored events.