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EPISD Student Spotlight: Dia Ganjegunte, Silva Health Magnet/CCTE

Photo of Dia Gajangunte

(SILVA HEALTH MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL -- Nov. 29, 2021) — Animal lover Dia Ganjegunte’s path towards becoming a veterinarian started at a young child helping rescued puppies. Fast forward to high school and now Dia is taking advantage of a unique opportunity to dual enroll at both Silva Health Magnet and EPISD’s Center for Career & Technology Education vet tech program to launch her career as a vet. The Silva junior, who is the HOSA Area 4 president and part of the University Medical Center’s Volunteer Corp, sat down virtually with Community Engagement for this edition of the EPISD Student Profile.

EPISD: How are CCTE and Silva preparing you for college and the future?  

DIA GANJEGUNTE: I have known from a very young age that I want to go into the medical field and help animals. I went to Silva because it was such a prestigious school that challenges their students. I was able to better prepare myself about the healthcare field with the help of the classes like Health Sciences & Technology (HST) that help students learn more about the ways of certain facilities before sending students out to hospitals on rotations. Silva gave me the opportunity to go to CCTE to become a vet assistant by the time I graduate. CCTE’s vet tech pathway is definitely a very challenging course but is really amazing and the right step for college and the future I want in the field of vet medicine. They give us opportunities to see the work in a veterinary facility and partake in it. In your junior year, you are taught the basics of how to read an x-ray is body systems of the animals you commonly see and being able to learn and identify certain breeds. You are also introduced to common practices that occur often in the field that you would have to know. It is a very exciting place to be.

EPISD: Tell us about your passion for animals and your volunteer work with the Animal Rescue League. 

DG: I have always been a big animal lover – any animal no matter what it was, I was right front and center trying to grab it from an early age. My neighbor worked at the Animal Rescue League which is a no kill nonprofit shelter, she had been fostering these puppies that were abandoned and would bring them over for my family and I to feed. Once I learnt what they stood for and what I could do to help them, I started volunteering there and have been doing that for a very long time.

EPISD: Tell us about Club 365 and how it has impacted your high school career? 

DG: Club 365 has been in my family since I was in the fifth grade. My sister was one of the members that basically started it, so I was at every event even when I was not a high schooler. As soon as I was a freshman, I was a part of Club 365 and tried to help as much as I could. They made a huge impact on me when I was younger, and I want to do the same for others.

EPISD: What made you want to become a wildlife vet? 

DG: As a kid, I first wanted to be an ice road trucker because I didn’t want to do school. But then I realized that that also required school, so I decided that if I had to do school, then I would do something worthwhile. I watched a TV show called ‘The Incredible dr. Pol’ and ‘Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet’ that made me want to become a vet.

EPISD: Where do you plan to go to college and what do you plan to major in?

DG: I am currently unsure of where I want to go to college. My dream college is Cornell University, but I am open to wherever. I plan to major in is also able to change and have no clue on what I want to do as a major maybe zoology.

EPISD: Tell us about being a Girl Scout and your experience with Compadres Therapy?  

DG: I have been a Girl Scout from a very early age which has made me the person I am. I am a very outgoing person and try to stand up for people whenever I have the chance. Girl Scouts has given me opportunities to speak, make new friends, and learn basic life skills. I have received both by Bronze and Silver awards and am working on my Gold Award the highest awards a girl scout can receive. I first got into compadres therapy through my troop leader when I was five and we would go every weekend after that, soon after that I started volunteering with them on my own and have been with them ever since.

EPISD: What advice would you give incoming freshman?   

DG: Don’t think you can’t achieve anything because you haven’t done it before. Take your shot. There will always be a way to achieve what you want.

Interview by Reneé de Santos