Alicia William(centre) will be the first child from her family to pursue post-secondary education. Picutred are here mom Gailene William (from left), her brothers Jacob William and Zach William and her dad, Albert William. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Indigenous student eyes veterinary school

Alicia William would be the first veterinary for the Tsilhqot’in Nation

Alicia William of Xeni Gwet’in First Nation has big goals.

William is currently finishing up her Grade 12 studies and aims on becoming a veterinarian which her mom, Gailene, says will be the first for the Tsilhqot’in Nation.

Despite her classes such as chemistry, biology and calculus at Lake City Secondary School now online and not in the classroom, Alicia has not found that change to be difficult.

She has been an honor roll student for the majority of her high school years, and Gailene said they were able to hire a math tutor a couple of years ago to help Alicia keep her grades up.

“The math is difficult but the tutor sure helps,” Gailene said.

Read More: SD27 selects 2019’s First Nations Role Models

Alicia is slated to graduate from LCSS on June 19. She is also the reigning 2019 First Nations Role Model — a title bestowed on her in May of 2019.

Gailene said although School District 27 has indicated there will be restrictions on what graduation day will look like, Alicia’s immediate family is planning to attend.

For the summer months Alicia is eyeing to work at the 150 Mile Ranch where she has worked in the past.

Alicia has chosen UBC as her school of choice although she was also accepted by UNBC and TRU.

Gailene said UBC awarded Alicia a $20,000 early entrance centennial award.

“We’re lucky that she has the support of our community of Nemiah,” she added. “Nemiah just let us know Wednesday that they will help her cover her residence fees there as well.”

Alicia will study to obtain her bachelor of science and applied biology at UBC, and necessary 60 undergraduate credits before she applies to veterinary school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Although cats are her favorite, William said she has a love for all animals.

William’s first semester of classes at UBC are anticipated to be online.


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