Student chapters of the American Veterinary Medical Association can receive up to $7,000 a year in funding under a pilot program announced Thursday.
The program, ALL for Students, was started with $233,000 in seed money—$100,000 each from AVMA and the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust and $33,000 from the Student AVMA (SAVMA) organization.
About 13,000 veterinary students are members of one of 32 chapters operating in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Scotland.
"The students who make up SAVMA are absolutely essential in shaping the future of the profession and this association," said AVMA vice president Walter R. Threlfall, DVM, MS, Ph.D., Dipl. ACT. "Unfortunately, during the recent economic downturn, it’s become harder for our student organizations to raise the funding needed to support all of their worthwhile programs and projects.”
ALL for Students grants will support community outreach efforts, leadership training and professional development.
"These programs will help make [students] better veterinarians and more successful leaders,” said Janet D. Donlin, DVM, CEO of the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust.
Initial $7,000 payments were distributed to 33 student groups, including one from a nonaccredited Caribbean school, during a conference Sept. 20 at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill.
Student leaders will be required to submit annual reports on how the money is spent.
The program could be extended past the two-year trial period.
The SAVMA president serves as a nonvoting member of the AVMA executive board. The current president is Elise Ackley, a fourth-year student in Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.