Local veterinarian Dr. Linsay Barnes saw a lack of diversity in the veterinary medicine field early in her career.

” I was the only African American and the only African American female in my class,” Barnes said.

In vet school she was the only minority in a class of 92 students.

“This is a field for all. It just hasn’t been represented that way, but it is a field for all,” Barnes said.

 The lack of diversity in the field led Dr. Ian Scholer, a veterinarian at Hill Top Animal Hospital in Augusta, and his wife, a teacher, to want to increase diversity in the veterinary industry.

Their organization Vets of all Colors partners with schools, in hopes of giving students an opportunity to know more about veterinary medicine and provide scholarship opportunities.

Kendra Collins is in the program, she says its a chance to see more students that look like her pursue vet medicine as a career.

” There isn’t a lot of African Americans in this profession so I guess it can be a little bit intimidating, but with more people it seems better and more welcoming,” Collins said.

Opening doors for minorities and getting the money to help them achieve their dreams is the highest priority.

“If we’re able to get some funding out to help these students move into that field then that’s wonderful,” Barnes said.

For more information on the scholarships and how to apply visit