When then-Burbank High School student Yvonne Soto started work with Burbank Unified School District's Regional Occupation Program in Animal Care, she was by no means a cat lover.
But fast-forward three years, and Soto is now not only very fond of felines but is enthusiastically pursuing a veterinary career while working as a vet tech at Media City Animal Hospital in Burbank.
In fact, she's not the only one.
Katie Hayes and Carlos Rivas, both part of the first ROP in Animal Care program, also turned a semester of volunteering with animals into more than just school credit. Hayes now attends Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in Colorado and is on her way to becoming a vet tech, while Carlos recently started a job as a kennel attendant at the Burbank Animal Shelter, where all three students got their start.
"I had always wanted to do something with animals," Rivas said. "ROP gave me that opportunity."