Through his internship at the Shawnee Animal Hospital, Shawnee High School senior Keegan Carrera is planning to follow his passion of helping both animals and people by becoming a veterinarian.
At his internship , Carrera said he receives first hand experience of being a vet and learns quite a bit through observation and execution.
"I come right after fifth hour ends and right after I get here I look at the surgery board to see what's going on that day and then check in with the vet techs to see how their day's been going and what's going on," Carrera said.
The 17-year-old said he helps with animals if the day is really busy and observes surgeries as the vets work on patients.
"I got to scrub in...on a Great Dane surgery. It came in as an emergency with a swollen ovary...so we had to take the uterus out as an emergency C-section," Carrera said. "So I got to scrub in as (an) assistant that day. It was really cool to prepare me for future careers."
According to Michelle Wallace, SPS Career Development and Community Partnership Advisor, Carrera is one of 12 SHS students with an internship and though he his not required to have an Individual Career Academic Plan, he receives elective credit.
For Carrera, the best aspect of his internship is learning about animals and their needs, which he said is something he's always been passionate about.
"I get to experience my future career before I even go to college to make sure it's something I want to do," Carrera said. "I think the internship has made me decide that I want to pursue veterinary school."
The senior explained he's happy to know this is for sure the route he wants to take because he's loved animals for as long as he can remember.
"Since I was little I've always been around animals and I just love helping animals out, but it's more the people that are around the animals," Carrera said. "So the people in the animal world...are what drive my passion to want to be a vet."
At the beginning of the year, students such as Carrera were told about the internship program and he said when he found out he was excited to have the opportunity.
"I knew I wanted to do that no matter if I had to move classes around or what I had to do in order to do the internship," Carrera said. "It was really exciting to get that chance."
In addition to his internship, Carrera is involved in the SHS Future Farmers of America chapter, he is an Oklahoma FFA Foundation Intern, American Farmer and Ranchers Youth Council Member and he has a large work load academically.
He explained the most challenging aspect of his internship and everything else is time management, but though it's difficult, he can get everything done.
"It's worth it and I think doing this now will make it easier down the road for me whenever I get into college and I'll have to go through all these vet classes. I'll know what's going on because I've seen it already by interning here," Carrera said.
Carrera said he plans to attend Oklahoma State University next fall and double major in Agriculture Communications and Animal Science with a pre-vet option.