Vince's Pre-Veterinary Student Scholarship
NEW: Scroll down to check out the 2023 winners!
2024 Pre-Veterinary Scholarship
The older I get, the more compassion I feel toward animals, which is why I have tremendous admiration and respect for those of you who are studying pre-veterinary medicine or animal sciences.
To show my support, I'm offering an annual scholarship which will take the form of a $500 award to two winners every year.
Student Scholarship Criteria
- You're enrolled in good standing in an accredited pre-veterinary or animal sciences undergraduate program in the United States
- You have an overall GPA of 3.33 or higher
Application Requirements and Deadline
The application period for the scholarship begins on October 19th, 2023, and students may submit applications through October 15th, 2024. The recipients of the awards will be announced on October 22nd, 2024 and notified by email.
Winners of past years' scholarships are not eligible.
How to Apply
To apply, please submit all of the following in one email to vince (at) vincekotchian.com with the subject line "2024 Pre-Vet Scholarship":
- Your first and last name
- Your email address
- Your current college
- Your GPA
- Your expected graduation date
- Your current course of study
- An original poem, written by you, in an attachment to the email.
- If you use ChatGPT to write your poem, may God have mercy on your soul.
Applicants must also submit a poem - yes, a poem - of no more than 500 words. Rather than write yet another scholarship essay about why you want to work with animals, I'd rather hear your voice in a different context.
"The pen is mightier than the sword" is not an empty phrase; the ability to convey emotion through writing is a valuable skill, and one that's increasingly neglected, in my view, in our STEM-focused education system.
The poem must be at least somewhat related to animals in some way. Other than that, you have carte blanche.
If you're serious about winning, please take the poem seriously and give it your best shot, since it is the sole criterion I will use to decide the winners!
If you win, I will share your poem and a photo of you (that you'll send me if you win) on this blog when I announce the winners. If you're cool with that, please apply.
Best of luck in your studies and beyond,
2024 Winners and Poems
Liz Stock, for I Am The Black Sheep
Taylor Robinson, for A Heart Of Gold
I Am The Black Sheep by Liz Stock
Ten feet away from my greatest enemy,
my feet clam to the walls of muck-covered rubber boots.
Strands of blonding hair curling away from my sweaty-drenched neck.
Neither of us dare to break eye contact.
I must show a gap of confidence,
as he narrows his eyes at me,
protrudes his forehead,
and takes a monstrous breath.
I follow the countdown he gives with his hoof:
stomp one, two, three, GO!
I book it to the green gate.
Grunts, stomps, and heavy breathing follow me
as I slot them into the empty holes in the fence.
He peers up at me with deep brown eyes.
He huffs and sulkers away.
His family members gawk at the scene like deer-in-headlights,
until, his son, Murray, shakes as a wet dog dries itself,
and signals to the others to pay no mind.
They’re like dogs.
I would describe them as the cow version of man's best friend
or in my case,
woman’s best friend.
As a young girl, I learned how to tackle fluffy sacks of potatoes on legs.
My first task as shepherdess: rename them.
“Lamb” and “Chop” was a bit, morbid
Ultimately, “Lambert” and “Chuck”
Lambert, the girl, most bovine,
square, strong stance and a bumbling personality
However, her partner in crime was my mortal enemy
Chuck fills every description you’ve ever heard about rams,
I had to learn this the hard way,
A head to the butt, many times.
His forehead was flat, due to
mercilessly taking his anger out of trees,
fence posts, and
anything he could find,
These two culprits marked the beginning of a new family in my life
Having sheep spurred us into adopting local orphans,
And the herd grew.
Did you know that sheep can pounce?
They sprint like lightning
Randomly coming to stumbling stop
They slam all four hooves into the ground,
As if they need an extra boost to propel themselves upwards,
To become one with their fluffy white counterparts in the sky.
I am the black sheep of my flock.
I look funny,
And they charge at me.
I never understood what they wanted of me.
When I’d leave the pasture, they baa at me
And when I’m in it, they run at me,
And I’d run away.
My worst fear occurred one day.
All of the sheep blocked the fence.
Their bug-eyes saw into my fear.
I didn’t know what else to do
I ran the other way.
I assumed only the worst as they caught up to me,
I awaited a beating.
Instead, all I heard was footsteps.
I look around.
I was surrounded by sheep
They bound off the grow at random intervals,
Threw their heads every which way
With reckless abandon to the rough ground ahead.
We all stumbled, I fell.
They stared at me,
Obviously, I’m was an amateur to this game,
But they approached me,
Sniffed me with their kale-infested breath,
And jolted away.
I’d say that was pretty good for a first try.
A Heart Of Gold by Taylor Robinson
I stare at my old friend,
his hands trembling,
and foot bouncing restlessly
No need to worry,
I nudge his hand with persistence
and paw at his feet,
Look! Pet me!
but that’s okay
I throw my paws on his lap
and lick away his clenched jaw,
melting his distant, rigid stare
with prescription-strength kisses
until he is grounded again
Good to see you smile again.
We are interrupted suddenly
by one of my favorite sounds
The noise of a motor, the clatter of the mailbox
You could use some fresh air, friend
you know that?
I look at him expectantly,
Eager ears perked
I’m so glad you feel better
He gestures to my leash
I pick it up for him and place it, gently, in his hand
I let him lean on me
and happily support him
as he gets up from his seat
We walk to the door together
He’s still a bit shaken,
so we take our time as we walk down the hallway
But I don’t mind
Not one bit
We pause in the foyer,
and, as he unlocks the door,
I catch a glimpse of movement
in the floor mirror leaned against the wall
I wag my tail at my reflection,
admiring my bright red cape
My friend, of course,
looks nice too
With his decorated coat of many patches
And adorned with shiny medals
We walk out the door
on our mission to retrieve the mail,
a noticeable, new spring in his step
As we continue down the driveway
I glance up at my friend,
relieved to see his improvement
See? I told you fresh air was good
I get a scratch behind my ears
and a pat on my head
I’m glad to see you happy again
we retire to the couch
He invites me to lay beside him
and we watch the flickering box
that entertains us both for hours
He dozes off for a while,
then wakes with start
I look to my old friend,
startled by his abrupt awakening
His tired eyes are frantic,
and his hands adopt familiar tremor
No need to worry, friend
I’m always here