Allyson Chavis and Allyson Lane met four years ago while working at a local animal hospital. It didn’t take long to discover they shared more in common than their name.
Topping the list is a passion for animals and a desire to pursue a career in veterinarian medicine. They chose to turn their passion into a degree at UNC Pembroke after learning about the pathway program with the College of Veterinary Medicine at N.C. State University.
After earning biology degrees in May, Lane and Chavis became the second and third beneficiaries of the Veterinary Education Access Scholars Program (SVEA), joining fellow SVEA program graduate and roommate Lexi High at NCSU this fall.
The pathway initiative — established in 2017 — grants a select number of biology students guaranteed acceptance into one of the top veterinary schools in the nation. The goal is to make a pathway to a degree in veterinary medicine more accessible to both minority students and students from rural backgrounds.
Raised in the Saddletree community, Chavis began volunteering at Baird’s Animal Hospital when she was 14 and worked her way to a veterinarian assistant. Lane grew up in Laurel Hill on a 60-acre farm where her family raised cows, Boer goats, chickens, guinea pigs and horses.
“I’ve been surrounded by animals my whole life, so I never found myself wanting to do anything else,” Lane said. “Veterinary medicine has been my only choice as far as a career. It feels surreal that I’ve talked about this all my life, and now it’s coming to fruition.”
Lane and Chavis are both grateful for UNCP’s SVEA and Health Careers Access Program (HCAP) for making the path to NCSU seamless and allowing them to focus solely on their studies.
“It was beneficial because N.C. State has a very rigorous application process. So not having to go through that removed a lot of stress,” Chavis said. “I’m very grateful for UNCP and the opportunities I was given.”
Chavis and Lane both plan to return home to practice upon graduation.