Curious about how to gain hands-on experience in the medical field? We have personal insights just for you, from our very own student Stephanie R.! In fact, Stephanie is not only a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) but she also conducts research and volunteers with children. Let’s see what she has to say about discovering her passion and following her goals.
This interview is Part 6 in our Empowering Activities series. To read more, check out the rest of the series right here! We hope that celebrating our stellar Empowerly students will inspire other high schoolers to reach for the stars.
Stephanie R. is a rising senior, currently living in Texas. Today, Stephanie pursues her passion for the medical field by conducting healthcare research with Lean On Us and Cambridge University. She also helps in the healthcare field as a CNA at local hospitals in Texas.
In her free time, Stephanie loves volunteering and taking care of children as a summer camp counselor. Through this, she strengthened her love for children and was inspired to start a fundraiser to help children with cancer. These experiences and life lessons prompted Stephanie to pursue a career in pediatrics.
A few of Stephanie’s accomplishments include:
- Published author of a literature review entitled “The Association Between Cognitive Disorders and COVID-19,” at the nonprofit organization Lean On Us
- Achieved status of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- Founded a fundraiser for Pediatric Oncology
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! We are so excited to learn more about you and your amazing work. First…
Empowerly: Which activity(s) do you participate in that makes you feel most empowered, and why?
Stephanie: While my research work is inspiring, I feel most empowered when I am able to work hands-on with patients. My school district offers a program that allows selected high school students to earn their nursing assistant certification and help at multiple local hospitals. Through this program, I was able to observe many different departments in action, including the Operation Room, the Emergency Room, Postpartum, Labor and Delivery, Radiology, and many more. Firsthand experiences and involvement in the medical field empower me as a student to confidently pursue pediatrics as a career.
E: How long have you been doing these activities?
S: At the beginning of my junior year at high school, I began visiting hospitals and working with patients. This confirmed my interest in medicine. During my junior year, however, I also began working on research projects in the medical field.
E: How did you first discover your passion(s), and when was that?
S: I first discovered my passion when I was in elementary school. The first time I stepped into the maternity/children’s ward, I saw pediatricians, nurses, and other hospital staff providing the best possible care to children and parents alike. Immediately, I knew medicine was the right path for me and that I wanted to be a part of this field in the future. Over the years, I have taken care of my sisters and worked as a volunteer with children, developing my love for children and desire to become a pediatrician.
E: Have you faced any memorable turning points or obstacles along your journey?
S: The COVID-19 pandemic prevented many health facilities from accepting students, which was a big hurdle for me in regard to career and education. Although I was disappointed not to be able to volunteer at hospitals or shadow at clinics, I discovered my passion for research during that time. Since I was able to participate in virtual research, I could use that insight when I volunteer at hospitals in the future.
E: What are your plans for the future (in high school, college, or beyond)?
S: Upon graduation from high school, I intend to attend undergraduate school in the pre-medicine field. Eventually, I’d like to attend medical school and become a pediatrician myself.
E: How has Empowerly helped you move your passions/activities forward?
S: Having recently gotten interested in research, Empowerly has helped me find research opportunities that suit my passion. For instance, through the Empowerly program, I got an opportunity to work on research with Lean On Us Foundation Inc. The Cambridge Research Scholars program was also recommended by my counselor. Because of these rich, unique opportunities, I was able to enrich my knowledge and develop a keen aptitude for conducting research.
E: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
S: I would like all the readers to consider donating, even a small amount, to this fundraiser for the research and treatment of childhood cancer. Research is expensive, so any amount of money would be a huge step forward for cancer treatment.
In the face of challenges, we see students displaying a lot of heart. We at Empowerly are constantly impressed by the passionate, dedicated work of students in our community. If you are curious to learn more about activities that will empower your students, we are here! Reach out to learn more about our program and how we can help. Book a free consultation below to receive a customized recommendation for your college application plan.