Focusing on the future

Wanting to become a doctor have been lifelong dreams of Ashley Whittaker and Jaelyn Pirtle. Their determination has guided them to reach out to other students at H-F and get together for the Pre-med group.

Whittaker has wanted to become a doctor since kindergarten and always had a passion for pre-med, but was uncertain of the steps she needed to take in high school in order for her to succeed in college.

“H-F has a lot of great clubs that help students better themselves for what they want to study in college, so I thought, why not have a group dedicated students interested in medicine?” Whittaker said.

Wanting to find some way to get a pre-med group started, Whittaker recruited the help of H-F counselor Roberto Suarez. Suarez worked in college admissions for four years and encountered many students interested in the pre-med track, but many didn’t realize what it took to be accepted on in that field.

Suarez was willing to sponsor the group and help get the ball rolling.

“As long as students are interested, I want to support those who are interested in the pre-med track and help them get the resources they need and give them advice to apply to college,” Suarez said.

Whittaker also reached out to a fellow sophomore, Jaelyn Pirtle. Pirtle is interested in majoring in biology or pre-med and wants to become a neurosurgeon.

Like Whittaker, Pirtle felt that students that wanted to major in pre-med in college needed a space to get information and share ideas.

“It’s very important for like-minds to gather and discuss their futures especially in high school,” Piritle said. “It’s also important for students to set the basis of their career and be informed on what classes they should be taking and what they should be studying now.”

The pre-med group is very welcoming and flexible. The meetings are scheduled around the members’ availability, which makes it very easy for anyone interested in majoring in pre-med able to attend.

In a typical meeting, we watch videos on human anatomy, discuss what SAT scores we may need, and just have open discussions and ask questions. We really just create a space where students can be open while getting needed information.

Junior, Destiny Johnson wants to become a general surgeon and is delighted to be involved in the pre-med group and is excited to see the growth and new experiences as time goes.

“I’m glad I have the opportunity to be around like-minded individuals with similar goals as mine and obtain information about the medical field,” Johnson said.

In the future, the group hopes to grow and gain more members and shadow physicians. The ultimate goal is to become an official club at H-F. The pre-med group typically meets one Thursday out of the month in the College Room in the back of the library.

“We really just have fun and make connections with each other. Ultimately, all of the members hope to achieve the same goal and this pre-med group has already given us a great start,” Whittaker said.