Two students from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) have been awarded the U.S. Army’s Health Professional Scholarship, each receiving more than $200,000 to be used to fund their remaining years as CVM students.
Sabrina Dagher-Arevalo and Jillian Estrella, both in the CVM Class of 2022, were commissioned into the U.S. Army and presented with their awards during the ceremony on Jan. 11. The scholarship covers tuition, supplies, and a monthly stipend
Dagher-Arevalo and Estrella were chosen out of many applicants, in part, due to recommendations from professors and community leaders, according to Maj. Shawnda Bass, the U.S. Army Healthcare Recruiter.
“We’re honored to have these two young ladies (in the Army) and look forward to supporting them both financially and professionally through their education as they become the next generation of veterinarians in Army medicine,” Bass said.
Dagher-Arevalo looks forward to carrying on a family tradition of service in the military and police force. She first heard about the scholarship opportunity while in high school and has spent the years since preparing for her application.
She said she plans to use her time in the Army to gain more veterinary experience, as well as to serve her country.
“It is a lot of relief in not having to worry about loans and everything so I can focus more on my education and my academic career,” Dagher-Arevalo said.
Estrella first learned of the scholarship opportunity during a recruiter visit to one of her CVM classes and hopes this award will lead her to new opportunities she may not have had before, such as a career at the Department of Defense or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
She plans to use her experiences working at a Houston emergency veterinary clinic when caring for military animals.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity and to be selected,” Estrella said.
Many family members and friends also attended the ceremony and expressed pride and excitement for the two award recipients.