Rhiannon Koehler, animal science major and recipient of the Mizzou Scholarship.
Rhiannon Koehler can still recall the day she found out she received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Missouri. “I was in class in my high school, so I had to let the message go to voicemail, but my gut told me this was the call I had been waiting for,” says Koehler. “As soon as I got home, I listened to the message and ran out into my yard yelling and doing cartwheels.” With one phone call, Koehler, a recipient of the Mizzou Scholarship, achieved her childhood dream of receiving a full-ride offer to pursue an animal science degree, on her way to a doctorate of veterinary medicine.
A native of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Koehler believes that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. She decided early on to help her family financially by working hard in high school to earn an International Baccalaureate diploma. She also shadowed veterinarians to build her resume and she participated in extracurricular and service-oriented activities to make her a well-rounded candidate for college. Applying to seven universities but only MU in Missouri, the decision came down to the need for financial aid. “This scholarship took a huge burden off my parents’ shoulders,” says Koehler. “With my sister at a private university and my brother graduating from high school this spring, my parents were unsure how they were going to afford to support three college students. But, my hard work paid off and I was able to provide them with some hope.”
Earning the Mizzou Scholarship has only increased Koehler’s drive to pursue her dreams of one day owning a practice or specializing in animal oncology. In her first year at MU, she was pre-accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine and joined the Pre-Vet Club, Tigers for Tigers, Herpetological Society and the Honors College. She also volunteers as a soloist and choir member at the St. Thomas More Parish & Newman Center in Columbia, Mo. “If it weren’t for this scholarship, I wouldn’t be here today, which is exactly where I want to be. My donors believe in me and have made all the difference for my future, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
The Mizzou Scholarship awards are for Missouri high school students who have achieved high academic excellence.
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