TILF Success Stories: Meet Rebecca Roberts
Posted by Trudy Richards on 04/08/2015
Hailing from Gainesville, Rebecca Roberts became involved with UIL the first year she walked the halls of S&S Consolidated High School. “UIL was always a strongly encouraged extracurricular activity in my high school. S&S has a history of state qualifications in several events so our coaches were extremely experienced and proficient in the coaching process,” she said.
With their encouragement, Rebecca became an active member of the UIL team, competing in Spelling, Literary Criticism, and One-Act Play throughout her UIL academics career.
Now a junior studying Biology at the University of North Texas, Rebecca is a recipient of the Stark Foundation Designated Scholarship. Since graduating high school nearly three years ago, she has worked as a part of the Texas Coalition for Animal Protection (TCAP) and has begun to work toward her veterinary technician license in addition to her degree.
“I started working there the summer after I graduated high school. My sister had worked there previously, when only three clinics had been opened,” she said. Since then TCAP has expanded by opening two more clinics while it continues to provide services through over 25 independent clinics where their clinicians are staffed.
At the onset of her involvement, Rebecca worked as part of the administrative side of the Coalition. “When I began working there, I was primarily answering phones and scheduling appointments,” she said. However, her immersion in the cause grew and soon she began to administer services to animals coming into the clinic. “I started giving vaccines during our walk-in vaccination hours. A little over a year ago, I began my training to be a veterinary technician which involves administering anesthesia and prepping animals before surgery.”
Her work with TCAP has allowed her to understand the implications of overcrowded shelters and the toll it takes on the animals she hopes to aid. “The biggest impact TCAP has had on me is that it has opened my eyes to the vast number of animals that have no place to call home. Any shelter I have been to has been filled to capacity with strays and surrendered animals, with even more arriving when there is no more space for them. I’ve learned that pet overpopulation can be viewed as sort of a hidden issue,” Rebecca said.
In addition to her learning about health administration and being part of the movement related the well being of animals, Rebecca has learned to value teamwork via the structure of TCAP.
“TCAP is a very team-oriented organization so all of us end up spending a lot of time together. Without a doubt, TCAP is made up of some of the most hard working people I’ve ever known. Everyone at TCAP is a huge animal lover with a great compassion for these pets.”
Teamwork and dedication are principles Rebecca came to appreciate through her involvement in UIL academics as well. “I always saw UIL as a fun but competitive organization to get involved with. You can work as a team, but also individually,” she said. Rebecca qualified for the state competition in spelling her freshman, sophomore, and junior year, taking titles both individually and as a part of the S&S team.
In addition to her achievements in spelling, Rebecca qualified to state her senior year in Literary Criticism and One-Act Play. However, Rebecca notes that her forte and passion has always been in the field of science, particularly biology.
“I have always really enjoyed reading and studying any type of science so I’ve always known that I would pursue some kind of career involving science. Also, my mother, Laura, is a registered nurse and I have always loved hearing about what she does at her job,” she said.
As she wraps up her junior year studying biology, Rebecca isn’t planning on slowing down. “I am hoping to find an opportunity to join an undergraduate research team working under a professor,” she said. She plans to apply to graduate school and potentially pursue a PhD.
Rebecca views the opportunity to be a TILF Scholar as a motivator for achieving these educational goals. “Being a TILF Scholar has encouraged me to continue the tenacious study habits I had while I was involved with UIL Academics,” she said.
These habits have morphed into determination not only to earn her degree, but also to make an impact on animals across Texas.
Written by Katarina Antolovic