HCC Plant City Veterinary Technology student overcomes obstacles to excel

April 21, 2017



Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Plant City Campus student, Kaitlyn Van Lenten, began the HCC Veterinary Technology program in the fall of 2015, and she has excelled at every task she’s been given. When Katie was 15 months old, she was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis. The disease caused the membranes around her brain and spinal cord to become inflamed and prevented oxygen from reaching her extremities. Doctors had no choice but to amputate her right hand and forearm along with the tips of the fingers on her left hand.  Nevertheless, despite having what most people would consider a “handicap,” Katie has taken her situation in stride and met every challenge along the way with an incredible can-do attitude and ability to persevere. 
Kaitlyn has never used a prosthetic hand in our program, and yet the choreography with which she performs many of her skills shows dexterity and a fluidity of movement that someone with two hands can rarely match. She has also excelled in her student externship classes.  During one of her externships, one of the veterinarians was so impressed with her work she was offered a job at a local vet clinic. 
Kaitlyn has maintained over a 3.0 GPA and has never shied away from tasks that all students are required to perform. She is admired by her classmates and serves as an inspiration to all. She is also the recipient of the 2017 Presidential Spotlight award for the HCC Plant City Campus.
Hillsborough Community College serves over 45,000 students annually at its five campuses located throughout Tampa Bay. The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit hccfl.edu.


Ashley Jeffery

Media Contacts

Ashley Carl, Executive Director of Marketing & Public Relations
acarl@hccfl.edu, 813.253.7158

Angela Walters, Strategic Communications Officer
awalters13@hccfl.edu, 813.259.6589

Chris DeManche, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
, 813.259.6567

Ashley Jeffery, Community Relations & Marketing Manager
ajeffery4@hccfl.edu, 813.259.6591

Debbi Ordaz, Public Relations Specialist
dordaz@hccfl.edu, 813.253.7066   

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