Kenan Thompson is most well-known for his work in acting, comedy, and being a star of the “Saturday Night Live” show.
With his new acting role as a veterinarian in Paramount’s new Clifford the Big Red Dog movie, Thompson has an interest in increasing diversity in the veterinary field, and he’s starting by inspiring students.
Along with promoting his new movie where he plays a veterinarian, Thompson is also partnering with Banfield Pet Hospital to further promote diversity in the field.
According to ABC 10 News, research from Banfield Pet Hospital shows that nearly 90% of veterinarians identify as white. Thompson wants to see that number changed, so he’s working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to inspire kids from diverse communities to take an interest in the veterinary space.
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In an interview with People, Thompson said, “There’s a serious gap in the diversity range, and Banfield is trying to spread that word, but also trying to get people involved. You know, that perked up my ears immediately. The fact that they’re actually taking steps to kind of help people get through their education to get down that road is pretty amazing to me. So, whatever I can do to kind of help.”
Part of what Thompson is doing to help is promoting Banfield’s NextVet program. NextVet allows high school students the opportunity to get a paid internship in the pet healthcare industry. Banfield describes the internship on its website, saying:
“As a NextVet intern, you’ll spend most of your time behind-the-scenes in one of our veterinary hospitals, where you’ll see our team in action and have an opportunity to shadow a range of positions including veterinarians and credentialed veterinary technicians.”
The internship is designed for students who love science, are motivated to learn, and are interested in a future career around animals. Applications for the NextVet program open October 27, 2021, and the internship takes place over the following summer. You can learn more or apply here.
Watch the video below to see Kenan Thompson working with the Banfield Pet Hospital and the Boys & Girls Club to inspire students and promote diversity: