In the surgical room at Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services (SCRAPS), everyone works quietly and efficiently. The vet is finishing up a minor surgical procedure on a rescued dog. Mercie, her assistant, monitors the animal’s heart rate and prepares for his transfer back to his crate. When the surgery is complete, Mercie joins another assistant to prep the next animal, carefully inserting a breathing tube and shaving patches of fur.
This is Mercie beginning to fulfill her lifelong dream—one that teachers, peers, and even her father once thought was out of reach.
“I had a label put on me throughout my entire life that my learning disability would get in the way,” Mercie says.
For a time, it seemed Mercie would live up to that label—she dropped out of high school and made what she describes as poor choices in her life. Then she was referred to Northwest Center Employment Services in Spokane.
The first thing that Job Coach Dianna Webb asked Mercie was what she wanted to do with her life. Despite her setbacks, Mercie’s answer was immediate: “I want to help animals and become a veterinarian one day.”
Mercie explains, “I always loved animals since I was young. In fact, I love animals more than people because they always make my day,”
Webb introduced Mercie to a mentorship program that provided the opportunity to volunteer at SCRAPS. Now Mercie is back in school and on her way to achieving her dream.
“Thanks to Dianna and Northwest Center, I’m a veterinarian assistant and will graduate from high school next year,” she says.
Webb isn’t surprised by Mercie’s transformation. “I knew she could succeed but she needed some positive direction,” she says. “There’s lots of twinkling stars in the sky, and the sky has Mercie in it.”
Northwest Center is passionate about equal rights, anti-ableism, and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you for reading.