Fri | Sep 24, 2021

GoodHeart: CASE graduate hoping to fulfil vet dream

Kelsey Jones starts GoFundMe to attend Grenada university

Published:Saturday | June 26, 2021 | 12:07 AMShantay East/Gleaner Writer
Kelsey Jones has started a small pet grooming business to help her raise funds to attend university.
Kelsey Jones has started a small pet grooming business to help her raise funds to attend university.
A younger Jones holds a pet rabbit. The young girl who simply loved all animals has come a long way, now hoping to pursue studies in Grenada and become a veterinarian.
A younger Jones holds a pet rabbit. The young girl who simply loved all animals has come a long way, now hoping to pursue studies in Grenada and become a veterinarian.
Jones, now 19 years old, has long had a love for animals.
Jones, now 19 years old, has long had a love for animals.
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Kelsey Jones, a graduate of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), where she attained an associate of science degree in veterinary science, wishes to further her studies to fulfil her dream of becoming a doctor of veterinary medicine.

She has already started the process, having secured a place at St George’s University in Grenada, which offers a five-year veterinary medical programme for which she has received acceptance. But with the academic year beginning August 16, and her tuition for the first semester due in the last week of July, she has hit a challenge that may prove to be insurmountable without assistance.

“Since I was so young, I have been thinking about what is the dream and how I will get there. I am at the last leg, and right now, I need somebody to believe in me and give me an opportunity to achieve my dream,” Jones told The Gleaner.

Jones said the programme is not offered in Jamaica, solidifying her decision to apply to the regional university. Like many other students matriculating to university, she said she considered scholarships but found that some were not offered to regions outside of Jamaica. Still, she continues to apply to those for which she is eligible. “I have been applying for any scholarship that I am eligible for, even if it is a small scholarship,” said Jones as she waits to hear back.

She has also contacted several organisations, and while many businesses are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has received two positive responses. The Education Centre of Jamaica has agreed to make a small contribution. Also, the Ministry of Agriculture has offered to assist her in finding scholarships.

With the goal in mind, nothing is too much for the aspiring vet. Jones continues to work and man her small animal grooming business to earn the required funds, and has even created a campaign on popular crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. The campaign was created on May 31, with a goal of US$34,000. To date, no donation has been received, but she is optimistic. Though her combined efforts have taken her nowhere near her final goal, she expressed gratitude for the support she has received thus far. “Every mickle mek a muckle. Every contribution counts. I am never going to stop pushing until I get there,” Jones said.

At 19 years old, she has an attractive resume. The environmentalist is currently a zoo keeper and veterinary technician. She graduated CASE with a GPA of 3.71, attaining A’s and B’s consistently.

AWARD OF DISTINCTION

The Portland native is a Titchfield High School alumna and has received a number of awards. She recently received the CASE Graduation Award of Distinction 2021 and the CASE Top Performer award.

At the age of 12, Jones founded an environmental youth club that has expanded to include greenhouse farming and various other projects. At her alma mater, Jones is known for her leadership as the founder and president of the Fair Prospect Garden’s Youth and Environmental Club, and as a youth representative of the Fair Prospect Garden’s Citizen’s Association. This had a tremendous impact on community growth, employment opportunities, and environmental awareness in her community. She received the Prime Minister Youth Award in Environmental Protection in 2017.

In the future, she hopes to own a veterinary clinic and shelter and manufacture all-natural pharmaceutical and nutraceutical veterinary products. “Animals in Jamaica are severely abused and do not receive the care they deserve,” she said. This is something she hopes to change after she has completed her studies. As for the long term, she hopes to clear the streets of stray animals and contribute to the enforcement of animal welfare laws.

To donate to Kelsey Jones’ campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-kelsey-start-vet-school or make a transfer to Kelsey Jones’ NCB savings account, #844157452.

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