At just 2 years old, Ajhani Oxendine walked up to her mother and said that she wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up. At such a young age, Ajhani didn’t remember saying this, but even in elementary school, she continued to want to be a veterinarian. Whether they want to be princesses or famous singers, many children change their aspirations as they grow older, but Ajhani didn’t. From getting her degree to having to put down animals, Ajhani knows she will endure a lot as a veterinarian. However, her strong love for animals motivates her. “I feel as if I can help somebody else by helping their pet,” Ajhani said. “I have loved all of the dogs or pets that I’ve had in my entire life and I know what it feels like for them to be sick and I’m scared.” Ajhani wants to learn how to treat these animals so she can take away their pain and even their owners’ fears.
After high school, she will pursue her dreams by first obtaining a degree in biology from Sweet Briar College. “I stayed there for a weekend visit and I kind of fell in love. I love the campus, I love the environment,” Ajhani said. Sweet Briar College is an all-girl’s school which Ajhani said will eliminate distractions as she pursues her degree. Also, the school’s lacrosse coach has asked her to attend the school and join their team. Ajhani looks forward to being in a different environment trying new things such as horseback riding. One lesson she will take with her from high school to college is learning how to outline and finding her best study practice. She credits attending Richmond Community High School with helping her learn better ways to study while also pushing herself to do more work.
While she is still in school, Ajhani works to maintain her 3.66 GPA. She is a member of the Environmental Club, the Music Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and FBLA. Outside of school, Ajhani’s favorite thing to do is work with the Boys and Girls Club. “I love watching the kids. I love helping with their homework and just being a part of the activities that they have,” she said. With the organization, Ajhani said it is a place to keep her out of trouble, focused and a location where she feels protected, all while helping younger children succeed. Another of her favorite activities is to perform with her school’s jazz band. Along with all of these activities, Ajhani also works with the Richmond Police Department and is a part of their Richmond Police Athletic League. She even helps with their summer and weekend camps.
In 2015, Ajhani was awarded first place in Emerging Business Issues and also second place in a public speaking competition. With plans to continue succeeding and reaching her goals, one of Ajhani’s biggest inspirations is her mother. While Ajhani was in elementary school, her mother went back to school while also working both a full time and part time job. “She was putting in a lot of work and that really motivated me,” Ajhani said. “Going through really hard situations with her just made me want to be better and do better for future me and future her too.” Now, Ajhani is working to make her mother proud and herself as she works hard to accomplish her long-time dream of becoming a veterinarian.