Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pa., veterinary student Gaemia Tracy is enrolled at Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The lifelong animal lover feels he’s getting an optimum education, and attributes much of his academic and extracurricular success to the private scholarship money awarded to him.
Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?
I was drawn to Ohio State because of my visit here, and by my research into the veterinary program, which offers a more broad-based education than other veterinary schools I looked at. Also, the financial support I received definitely influenced my decision. As an out-of-state student, I would have had to pay out-of-state tuition. But my scholarships made it cheaper for me to attend Ohio State for four years than I would have paid at a school in Pennsylvania.
How would you describe your overall Ohio State experience so far?
In one word, enlightening. I have realized that there are people in the world—outside your family and close friends—who really do want you to succeed and accomplish your goals. The classes are challenging and the course load is heavy, but I’m not afraid because I trust that I am getting the best education possible. The school has a support system set up so I cannot fail.
What do you think about the fact that some of your peers are qualified for college but are unable to attend due to lack of funding?
That is a terrifying thought. Only a certain number of people are blessed with a specific skill set, and it’s a shame that some of them do not get a chance to enhance or improve those skills simply because they don’t have the financial means to do so. It doesn’t seem fair that “Person A” gets to realize their dreams just because they have enough money to do so, while “Person B”—who is just as or more talented than “Person A”—has to accept any job that he or she can get just because they don’t have enough money to attend college and make the most of the opportunity. I believe that one day I will be a great veterinarian thanks to the education I’m receiving right now, but who knows where I would be had I not had the financial means, via scholarship funds, to pursue this dream of mine?
If potential donors are unsure about contributing to scholarship funds for Ohio State students, what would you say to inspire them to give?
I would tell them that the scholarships I received really helped me make my decision to come to Ohio State, and since I have been here my confidence, knowledge, and view of the world have all been enriched. The scholarship money, no matter how large or how small the gift, represents a lot more than just money. Five hundred dollars is not just $500; it’s somebody saying how much they believe in you, how much they think you are capable of succeeding. It represents an opportunity, and all a lot of people need is an opportunity. If a donor is on the fence, I would tell them that a scholarship is the best investment they will make because it makes a world of difference in the recipient’s life.