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Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation Supports Youth Veterinarian Initiative
Contributes $10,000 to launch the YVI Book Club & Merit Badge Program
Operated under WIF's Strategic Focus Area (SFA) in STEAM Education, the Youth Veterinarian Initiative (YVI) is designed to 1) expose black and brown youth aged 9-17 years to the field of veterinary medicine, and 2) introduce these youth to race- and gender-specific role models so they can see themselves potentially pursuing a career in this domain.
After a successful first year of operation in collaboration with Philanthropy Alliance Foundation (Sherita J. Herring, founder), WIF is expanding YVI to include a book club and merit badge program. Participants will read six to twelve books over the course of the academic year, create/expand home libraries, and earn merit badges based on their active participation.
Thanks to KADF's $10,000 contribution to the program, books will be provided at no cost to students. Reading assignments will be given in advance and students will attend a monthly Saturday morning Zoom call to discuss what they have read. Participants will also be encouraged to attend monthly podcast sessions so they can meet the veterinarians and other animal professionals who will inform and inspire them in real time.
KADF Executive Director Dr. Breea Govenar commented on the grant as follows:
"It is important and meaningful for us at The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation to continue to advance opportunities for greater access and participation to those who have been historically underrepresented in STEAM careers."
Merit badges will be issued to students who actively participate in the book club and attend podcast sessions. These badges will be part of the criteria for selection of students to participate in YVI Summer Camp, another expansion of the program, which will be held in August 2023. The addition of the book club and summer camp serves to include WIF's literacy and travel SFAs in YVI.
"Speaking as a veterinary pathologist and toxicologist, I am incredibly pleased and proud of what we've accomplished with YVI in a single year," said Dr. Monique Y. Wells, WIF Founder & CEO. "For our second year of service, I anticipate that the addition of the book club and merit badge program and summer camp will inspire even more youth to consider pursuing veterinary medicine or another animal-related activity as a career."
About the Wells International Foundation (WIF)
WIF is a U. S. non-profit organization whose mission is to empower women, children and youth, and persons of African descent to realize their highest potential through arts, literacy, study abroad, and other educational and cultural programs.
To learn more, visit https://wellsinternationalfoundation.org.