On May 1, 2020, Victor Lopez became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Not only is he the first doctor in his 50+ person extended family, he’s also the first to have earned a bachelor’s degree.
Why It Matters
His is a story of the American dream achieved. “My parents came to this country with nothing. It was hard for my parents to understand my educational path. They don’t come from an educational background and only completed elementary school. After each graduation, they’d ask, ‘Are you a doctor yet?’”
He can finally say, “Yes!”
Why It Works
Victor grew up helping his parents on their Luling, Texas ranch, and probably would have continued in that line of work if it weren’t for one particular sick calf he encountered at the age of 10. He accompanied his dad and calf to the vet where he could serve as a translator for his Mexican-born father.
There, the seed for the veterinarian dream was planted. “This is what I want to do,” Lopez said.
The road to medical school is rarely an easy one, and in Victor Lopez’s case, it came with not one, but three rejections from his first-choice veterinary school.
He says, “It was discouraging to get those rejection letters. As a Texas boy, I wanted to attend Texas A&M’s veterinary school.” But after three rejections, he decided he needed to look further afield.
“I didn’t want to have ‘what if’ lingering in the back of my head, so I decided I needed to apply elsewhere.” He was then accepted into Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama.
Dr. Lopez leaves those who might find themselves in a situation similar to his own with this piece of advice; “Never give up.” +