Jessica Verwey remembers always wanting to be a vet.
Growing up on a citrus farm, Jessica was surrounded by animals. As she grew older, her interest in medicine grew stronger.
“Griffith (NSW) was able to give me so many opportunities growing up and I cannot think of anywhere else I would want to raise my own family,” says Jessica, the inaugural Origin Foundation CEF Young Achiever award winner.
Jessica moved away from home to study vet science in Wagga but recently returned to Griffith with her fiancé and a small menagerie of animals. With a love of good food, wine, cheese and Italian restaurants, she believes the country town lifestyle can’t be beaten.
A Country Education Foundation (CEF) of Griffith grant recipient, Jessica graduated from Charles Sturt University with first class honours in her Bachelor of Veterinary Science/Bachelor of Veterinary Biology in 2017. She also won the 2017 Veterinary Science Medal and is the first vet science student ever to be awarded the prestigious Charles Sturt University Medal.
Since then, and with a published academic article under her belt, she has spent time working in Young, NSW and most recently teaching back at Charles Sturt University. She has a special interest in veterinary pathology and its role in clinical practice. She will return to clinical veterinary practice in Griffith in 2019.
Jessica was proud to receive her grant in 2013. She says, “being awarded the CEF grant meant that I was able to spend less time working and invest more time in both my studies and being involved in my broader university community”.
She encourages young students to follow their dreams and to seek out support from organisations like CEF. She hopes past CEF grant recipients will reconnect with the Foundation’s alumni stories. “I think it’s important that we support CEF and demonstrate to the next generation of students that, with support, country students really can achieve anything!”