2019 Outstanding Award Winner
Michelle Oberman is a veterinary student at UC Davis who is deeply passionate about animal welfare, specifically as it pertains to at-risk and underserved populations. Throughout her time as a veterinary student, Michelle has dedicated herself to volunteering with a number of non-profit organizations that better animal welfare. To this end, Michelle hopes to pursue a career in shelter medicine, which will allow her to improve the well-being of shelter animals and, in the long-term, promote animal welfare far beyond the level of the individual patient.
Through the student-run Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless, she helps provide free monthly veterinary care to the pets of Sacramento's homeless, a population that would otherwise go without care. This experience has intensified her belief in the importance of making quality veterinary care accessible to low-income and otherwise disadvantaged pet owners - a group she also plans to serve as a practicing veterinarian.
As a volunteer with the student-run Orphan Kitten Project, Michelle helped nurse to health a sickly kitten rescued from a local animal shelter, cared for him for many months, and then facilitated his adoption into a loving home. As a singleton kitten at a resource-poor shelter, he was at high risk for euthanasia, and Michelle is very grateful to have had the opportunity to have such a positive impact on his life. Volunteering with the Orphan Kitten Project - and taking part in just one of the many miracles that they perform - has made her even more eager to help those animals most at risk through her career.
Additionally, she is an active volunteer with Community Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER), a national organization that rehabilitates, retrains, and rehomes ex-racehorses, an often-overlooked group. So far, Michelle has helped with the rehabilitation and retraining of two such horses, and she looks forward to continuing this important work.
Michelle's desire to help those who cannot help themselves is what originally drove her to pursue veterinary medicine. Michelle is very grateful to have received the Outstanding Award in Community Service and will continue to make community service a central part of her personal and professional life.