Monday Spotlight: Love of animals leading teen toward a career

David Ames

STEPHENS CITY – A Sherando High School senior is already working toward his dream job.

David Ames, 18, of Stephens City, will receive his associate’s degree in math and science from Lord Fairfax Community College before he graduates from high school this spring. He has also recently taken courses in physics and microeconomics.

Ames plans to attend Virginia Tech in the fall and he hopes to receive a bachelor’s degree in dairy science, after which he plans to attend Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, becoming a doctor of veterinary medicine.

“I’ve always been one to enjoy the presence of animals,” he said. “I’ve always had a strong relationship with animals as well. I like to spend a lot of time with them. It was just a good outlet for me.”

To prepare for his veterinary career, he has volunteered over 250 hours at the Frederick County Animal Medical Center from March 2014 to March 2015. He then began working as an assistant veterinary technician. His job, which he will continue until he goes to college, includes restraining animals during nail trimmings, restocking and cleaning the clinic and other duties.

Ames said his interest for veterinary medicine sparked when he joined the FFA program at school and found a job that he could do that would allow him to spend a lot of  time working with animals – “working to help make their lives great.”

He said he would like to work at a mixed practice with both small and large animals.

“We’ve got such a shortage of large animal vets in the United States,” he said. “And knowing that there’s a need within my area, it’s really what sparked my interest in large animals. But I do definitely plan on working with the cats and the dogs and the companion animals that everyone loves.”

He said he chose to attend Virginia Tech because of his time in FFA when the members visited the campus and learned about the agriculture program and met the professors. He also has family members who have attended the university.

“I’ve become really familiar with it,” he added.

Ames has been a part of FFA, a member of the National Honors Society and a member of the Boy Scouts since sixth grade. Before that he was in Cub Scouts.  All of those activities, he said, helped him to become more social and make connections.

He said he hopes to come back to the area after graduating from college and advancing in his veterinary medicine field.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com