Giving Back to the Mountains that Raised Me - Leigha Wright

The first bit of information that I provide to any new person I meet is that I am from the Appalachian Mountains. I look at it as something that defines a part of who I am. If anyone listens to me for any period of time, no matter how short, they can hear the mountains in my accent. Growing up in the mountains provided me with a strong work ethic and drive, but also with a deep pride in where I come from. It has always been a dream of mine to give back to the mountains that raised me, the mountains that provided me solace on the hard days, and the mountains that encouraged my love of learning and my love of animals. I have traveled throughout the US giving back to the veterinary community by educating others, but now thanks to the new program at Appalachian State University, I have found a way to give back to my community. Animals have always been my passion; from hunting with my family to working in the local animal shelters. As I continued on in my veterinary technology career, I discovered another passion: Education. I have been able to help others become veterinarians and veterinary technicians, while always starting my first lecture by letting them know: This accent comes from the mountains.

I have always wanted to combine these passions with my love of the Appalachian mountains, my home. When I would travel back home from any of the places that I lived at the time, I would always make sure to go to the local high school and speak to the students. I would discuss with them my love of animals and what they can do to create their own career path in the field, but I would also want to convey to them that they can also go out and do great things. I wanted them to hear how my accent has never faltered or diminished, instead I hold it proud as a way of carrying the mountains with me wherever I may go. I wanted to show them they did not have to hide a part of themselves to succeed in a world that may not understand the community that they come from. Appalachian State University has allowed me a place to combine all of my loves into one. As the Clinical Coordinator for the Veterinary Technology Program, I will be able to share with students my love of animals and my love of educating alongside my love for my mountains. -Students will be able to listen to me in class and will be able to hear a part of themselves, a part of their family, a part of their community within my accent. This is the biggest and best way I could ever imagine giving back to my mountains, by showing the younger generation in the community that they can succeed and that they can always come home.

Leight Wright and dog, Sam
Published: Jul 8, 2022 8:19am