As WestVet is a 24-hour emergency and specialty hospital, we are not able to accommodate volunteers. So we were delighted to create a partnership with the Boise School District Student Transition Education Program (STEP) that would enable one of their students to join us for a few hours each week, under their supervision.

WestVet, working with Boise Schools STEP program

Natalie, an inquisitive, kind, young lady came to us as part of STEP. She is a graduate of Boise High and is now learning valuable life skills to further prepare her for living independently.

Natalie has several daily responsibilities at WestVet. She helps with the laundry, walks dogs, keeps the windows and mirrors sparkly clean, and tends to the trash and recycling. More than that, she is known and appreciated by all of our staff members.

WESTVET partnership with BSD STEP program

Walking through the hospital is like walking with a celebrity—all the veterinarians and staff members greet her.  Her positive attitude and desire to learn have won us all over.

Today, she is sporting powder pink scrubs,but many days she is in Bronco blue and orange—she is an avid Boise State fan. WESTVET, working with Boise Schools STEP Natalie has her own customized name tag which reads, “Veterinary Assistant Trainee.” The day she received the nametag, she promptly sent pictures out to her friends and family wearing the badge – and a huge smile.

The reason Natalie is so successful working with us is pretty clear—she loves animals. She is a long-time dog owner. Her first dog, “Doxie” was part of their family for 12 years. After she passed away, “Bo” came along. He is a sweet, attentive Border Collie who loves going for walks, chasing a ball, and long cuddles on the couch.

When asked what she wants to do as a grown up, she says that she wants to work in veterinary medicine.

WESTVET partnership with Boise Schools STEP programIn her free time, she spends time with friends and her dog. It’s been a great experience for us (and hopefully for her). Her sweet, gentle spirit has made an impact on all of us.

STEP, with the Boise School District, is a transitioning program for students with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 21. It provides intensive instruction in four specific areas:

  • Vocational
  • Independent living
  • Personal/social
  • Leisure/recreation

You can read more about the program HERE.


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