Katie Ellington’s journey to college hasn’t been without its bumps, ups, and downs.
The native of Oklahoma graduated high school and went to Tulsa Community College but stopped after one semester. “I was just burned out on school and, quite honestly, I wasn’t ready to go to college,” she says. She quit school and worked but geared herself up to resume again a couple years later – in 2012. She was on track to go to veterinary school when a few unfortunate events occurred in her life.
Stopped in Her Tracks
When Katie broke her leg badly and needed surgery, life came to an unexpected halt. “I have family in Colorado and just decided it was time for something new, and a change of scenery,” she says. She arrived in Colorado by way of Westminster in 2015.
Starting at FRCC
When Katie got to Colorado, she started working at Walmart but continued doing something she’s always enjoyed doing: working with animals. “Most of my life I have worked with animals, and I started working in kennel care in a veterinary hospital,” she says.
Eventually, Katie decided it was time to go back to school. She enrolled at Front Range Community College and began taking classes toward an Associate of Science. “I have always loved school even though it hasn’t been easy,” she says. “I’m at FRCC because I want to be able to have a good career that I enjoy.”
A Great Experience
FRCC has been Katie’s first experience taking online classes—and she’s been pleasantly surprised. “I live right down the street from the Westminster Campus, but many of my classes have been online because sometimes life demands that,” Katie says. “I’ve been really happy with my experience. I’ve had challenges along the way and I even had to take a little time off school, but it is the great FRCC teachers that keep me coming back and not giving up.”
Minimally Impacted by COVID-19
At the time that the coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic and FRCC closed campuses, Katie was enrolled in two online and two on-campus classes. “For the online classes, there was no impact—it was just onward as usual,” she says. “And for the in-person classes, I was impressed how quickly the teachers got us up and going with Zoom and email.”
Planning Her Future
In fall 2020, Katie will transfer into the Community College of Denver’s two-year veterinary technology degree program, which she can do online and in person (FRCC’s Vet Tech A.A.S. program is at the Larimer Campus, which is too far for Katie to drive for classes). She is currently a veterinary assistant at the Cat Care Society in Lakewood, continuing to work with animals as she loves to do. “I think I’ll get a bachelor’s degree eventually,” she says. “Right now, I’m just looking forward to continuing to pursue my passion, whether that’s in an emergency vet hospital, zoo, shelter, or somewhere else.”
Just Keep with It
If Katie has a mantra, it is to “just keep with it.”
“I really, really want this,” she says. “I want something meaningful and a career and I was just not ready when I started after high school. But I’m ready now for this and I’ve been working hard toward it. I’m grateful to FRCC and excited about discovering what kind of animal medicine I am passionate about.”