Veterinarian Wins $5,000 To Assist With Career Change To Animal Welfare Advocate

“Last year I made a huge decision to quit my job without a new one, (I’ve transitioned out of clinical medicine and into the regulatory space helping to ensure animal welfare is upheld 🐶🐱). I was mentally and emotionally exhausted, so I decided to take my time to figure out what was next. But it took longer than expected, my savings were tapped, I took a (voluntary) pay cut and I moved to a whole new state. I’m much happier now in my position, so it is all worth it! This money is going to go toward helping me with the last push to get back on track with my finances and not worry about my ~10 student loan payments!”

⭐️ Congrats to one of our recent FREE $5,000 Queue Award Winners, Stephanie Hawley of Rockville, MD! 🥳

Stephanie earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at St. George’s University – School of Veterinary Medicine and a BS in Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

“Vet school was the most difficult obstacle in my life thus far. Hands down, it was an experience I will never forget, regret or ever want to do again. I love being a vet, even if I am not working in a normal clinic. But it is HARD to get through school and then it is hard to deal with the debt when your income is so disproportionately small. Combine that with knowing Veterinarians have a high-stress load for a lot of reasons, high suicide rate, and high mental health issues and it can be difficult to navigate. Many people aren’t even aware we are not paid like human Doctors and blame us for being money hungry. I would just like to say that isn’t the case, be kind to each other and if you would like more information, please look into Not One More Vet #NOMV to learn about veterinary mental health and what you can do to help.”

“I have never been lucky in spins. So when I got to #1 early on I took a picture for remembrance… and then I just kept getting lucky. It was such a happy feeling of “finally!” And knowing I had this cushion coming to relieve some of my financial stress.”

“I first heard about Givling in an article I read back in 2016-2017… (it was a long time ago! It was pretty quickly after I had finished school). But I was intrigued, so I dug a bit more. I thought this concept was amazing. And knew I could play for free or not. Plus, though even $50k would not make a dent in my loans, it would help for a house or help with interest. Now that I’ve joined the community, I can attest that this concept IS amazing, and helpful. I truly hope it can reach the capacity to pay off loans every day, but if not, I’ll keep playing to help others and, if I’m lucky again, myself. To me, helping each other is what it is about!”

Any tips for your fellow Givlings? “Just keep trying. Even if you are like me and pause for a bit, you can still benefit. And you are benefiting others.”

“I have about $325k in federal student loans with interest. I did have private loans but was able to pay those off already. It is still a lot. But I do now have a job that is eligible for PSLF and am in the process of applying.”

More about Stephanie: “I was born and raised in Minot, ND, did my undergrad in Madison, WI, vet school in Grenada West Indies and Columbia, MO. I practiced in Chicago, IL and Spencerville, OH and now I’m here in Rockville, MD. My journey has been never boring and has never taken me where I expected, but I’m loving exploring my new home! I also love to read, cook, go to museums, travel, try new food and restaurants. And recently, attempt to sound not awful on the violin! Thanks to a gift from a friend from vet school who also lives in Maryland, I am starting (very slowly) to check a bucket list item of learning to play the violin!” 🎻

Thanks for being a #ForceForGood, Stephanie! 🐻

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