Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Whitewater High Top Student Carter Selected to Attend Medical Forum

A student’s dreams of becoming a doctor are getting closer to reality.

Volisa Carter, an 11th grader at Whitewater High, has her goals set on becoming a neonatal intensive care doctor. She was notified in March that she has been invited to attend a medical program that is only offered to the top one percent of high school students in the country.

The National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine is a 10-day program that introduces students with an interest in medicine to all aspects of the medical field. Participants have the opportunity to interact with professionals from some of the nation’s top medical centers and faculty from renowned institutions of learning.

Students cannot apply to the program; instead they must be nominated by a teacher or through voluntary precollege surveys. The Forum on Medicine first became aware of Volisa through the Student Search Service of the College Board.

“She meets the high standards we set to qualify as a nominee. Fewer than one percent of all high-achieving high school students are presented with this opportunity,” says Dr. Shashin Doshi, senior councilor to the National Youth Leadership Form on Medicine.

When Volisa learned about the invitation, she says she had mixed emotions.

“I was excited and scared at the same time. Excited because I never know that I was intelligent enough to stay up there with the geniuses of our nation. Scared because it costs a lot of money, and money in my family is very tight,” she explains.

Volisa’s life has had its obstacles. Her father died when she was five and her aunt has been raising her ever since.

“She has sacrificed a lot to get me through school. I am so appreciative of everything she has done for me,” Volisa says.

Despite her hardships, Volisa has managed to persevere, excelling in school and as a community volunteer. When she is not studying, she volunteers her time through the Fayette Family YMCA Leaders Club, a nonprofit organization that gives back to the community by sending volunteers to assist with various events. She received the Kristin Turner Spirit of Volunteerism Award in 2008 for her work with the club.

Besides giving her insight into her chosen career field, Volisa is hoping that the Forum on Medicine will help her land some needed scholarships so that she can fulfill her dream. The only thing standing in her way is money.

Volisa organized several fundraisers that netted nearly $500, but fell far short of the $2,600 needed to attend the program.

“We didn’t have much of a result because money is tight for everyone right now. I still hope that somehow I will be able to raise the remaining funds so I can take advantage of this great opportunity,” she says.

The Forum on Medicine is being held at Emory University June 21-30. Anyone interested in making a donation to help Volisa pay tuition costs can do so through Whitewater High School by contacting Mary Giles, bookkeeper, 770-460-3935.

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