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The DuPage Community Foundation Companions’ Fund recently gifted Joliet Junior College with a $20,000 grant. The grant money was designated for scholarships for the college’s veterinary technology program.
One of the recipients, Jade Cheney, says that the scholarship was life-changing.
"This award allowed me to significantly cut my hours at work because I didn’t have to worry about tuition costs,” Cheney said, according to The Chicago Tribune. "The award enabled me to focus much more on my studies, especially during my last two semesters when studying was intense. I was fortunate to get this award when I needed it most."
The extra time to study paid off, with Cheney receiving an associate’s degree in applied science, graduating with high honors and even delivering the commencement address.
As a graduate, Cheney is eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), which she will do in July. Her career seems to be right on path, and she feels the DuPage Animal Hospital in Villa Park, Illinois — where she has worked for the past eight years — is the perfect place to be. Nicole DiGiacomo, DVM, is not only Cheney’s boss, but also her mentor.
"Jade is very special because she is always thinking three steps ahead of where we need to be,” Dr. DiGiacomo told The Chicago Tribune. "Not everybody thinks that way. She shows great initiative and has a great work ethic."
Cheney knew at 4 years old that she was destined for a career in veterinary science. She’s loved every aspect of her job as a veterinary assistant and is looking forward to her new role as a certified veterinary technician.
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