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Written and photographed by Michela Sardinas, Class of 2019

Bouncing from Hong Kong to Kansas City, Missouri, to Chicago, Daisy Dai found herself once again as a transfer student, this time as a freshman at Timothy Christian.

“I didn’t know anyone,” Daisy says, “so I was really intimidated because I was the newbie. But I wanted to break out of my comfort zone, so I started talking to people and people reached out to me.”

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But even with the change of being a new student, one thing remained the same: Daisy’s dream to one day become a vet.

She grew up with ten chinchillas, a cat, and a dog. Daisy’s love for animals transpired into a passion of caring for them. This ultimately grew into a desire to become a veterinarian.

At Timothy, Daisy crammed her schedule full of AP classes. But still she was not satisfied. There had to be something else besides just learning in the classroom.

There was: Renew.

In Renew, an 8-day program during January for Timothy Christian High School students, Daisy interned with a veterinarian at the Lombard Animal Clinic where she observed surgeries and learned how cells and bacteria interact.

“It was definitely an eye-opening experience,” Daisy claims. “Even after the Renew internship, I still continue to go to the clinic for shadowing and intern experience.”

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But a great opportunity came to Daisy when a friend gave her a website about projects abroad. Daisy found one in Argentina and began the fundraising process where she made videos and sent letters to companies.

“Even though my parents told me that being a veterinarian was competitive and hard work,” Daisy says, “they support me.”

Next thing she knew, she found herself in Cordoba, Argentina of August 2017 with volunteers from around the world.

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From this experience, Daisy says she learned, “Animal abuse is not a local problem, but a global one.”

Daisy gained leadership experience from student leading in the youth ministry for the Chinese Christian Union Church in Chinatown where her dad is working to become a pastor. But her leadership roles at Timothy began with activities like chapel committee and student council. It wasn’t until second semester of her junior year when she founded Animal Care Club (ACC).

“I ended up proposing the idea to Mr. Mitchell, our principal,” Daisy says, “and after talking to him about my passion for animals, my vision for the club, and the club’s structure would be, he really supported the idea and agreed that Timothy students can be benefited and inspired by a club that’s unusual.”

ACC is a group of animal lovers committed to caring and making a difference for animals (Genesis 1:26). This club teaches members to be advocates for animal rights and to be their voice since they can’t help themselves.

There are many current issues like dog fights and wildlife trade. ACC discusses how we can help sick or abused animals. Opportunities to help are volunteering at animal shelters and creating fundraisers.

ACC has a few goals — knowledge of animal welfare and rights, and creation of partnerships with local animal organizations.

With the knowledge of animal abuse and its relevance, Daisy wants to continue the path of being a vet.

“When people take care of abused animals, people are one step closer to restoration.”

Michela is a senior at Timothy and hopes to major in marketing or journalism. She is also part of Animal Care Club. Michela was new to Timothy her freshman year and is thinking of going to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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