Amanda Perry (DVM ’97) practices veterinary medicine today because of scholarships she was awarded two decades ago. She gives back to the College of Veterinary Medicine because receiving student aid from the same college enabled her to become the vet she is today.
“Scholarships help students focus on what they need to learn and concentrate on becoming a vet, rather than worrying about student debt,” Perry said.
Perry says the student aid she received helped alleviate her future financial burden that weighs many students down. The workload is challenging enough on its own, she said, and students don’t need additional burdens competing with their success. Knowing that she has lessened that worry for even one student working towards a veterinary career makes her donations worthwhile.
Perry owns Pineywoods Veterinary Hospital, a small animal practice in Valdosta, Ga., named after her family’s seven-generation farm. Her family has long ties to the University of Georgia, and her parents instilled the importance of giving back early on. “We’ve always been blessed by others’ generosity, and we want to pass that blessing on,” she said.
It’s also important to Perry that she’s donating to an institution that she relies on for referral services, too. Perry refers patients to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and relies not only hospital staff’s expertise as a resource for own practice, but also on the institution that cares for her patients who don’t have anywhere else to go, she said.
“We don’t have a referral hospital in South Georgia,” said Perry. “So it’s important to have the Teaching Hospital as a referral option for patients who need very specialized care.”
Perry says donations are critical to help the CVM remain a competitive trainer of future veterinarians. “As we’re losing vets in rural areas, we need to improve and keep up with new techniques at our institutions and prepare vets to be as efficient as possible,” she said. “If we keep our vet schools cutting edge, we keep our vets coming out cutting edge.”
Perry tries to inspire her friends and family to give to UGA as well, and every little bit helps, she says. Knowing one vet student is better prepared to face financial challenges or medical cases makes giving back worthwhile to her. From your local region to the state, and through the veterinary community at large, she said, “Giving comes back to me tenfold in other ways.”