WEST PORTSMOUTH-All parents hope and dream that their child will find a career to be passionate about, but usually that doesn’t happen when the child is only 2 years of age. However, Lakota Carver, a Junior at Portsmouth West High School, says that being a physician was always the goal she had set for herself. “It started off as a Surgeon when I was a toddler, but over time that changed to dermatology.”
Carver has always had a passion for helping others, but also desired to follow in the footsteps of her family and work in the medical field, which is why Lakota and her mother, Misty Carver, made the decision to apply for the opportunity to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Conference.
“My mom actually helped me sign up for this and they got back to us pretty quickly, which is so exciting,” Carver said. The Conference is a 3-day experience that is held in Boston, Massachusetts each Summer. It is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become a physician, or plan to go into medical research.
During her time there she will have the opportunity to hear from some prominent figures, like Nobel Laureates, deans from Ivy League Universities and from research teams who are leading the way in medical advances.
“I’m going to get the chance to watch a live surgery, meet a bunch of delegates my age from across the country, talk to deans and presidents of colleges and I think we even get to tour Harvard while we are there.”
Lakota’s mother says that she can’t think of anyone more deserving of this once in a lifetime experience. “Lakota has continued to amaze us throughout her almost seventeen years. She has always been a straight “A” Honor Roll student since kindergarten. One thing is for sure though, things haven’t always come easy to her. I’ve watched her work very hard and put forth every effort to succeed. There were always the naysayers that casted doubts in her direction, but in all honesty that made her strive even harder to do great.”
Carver says the biggest gain that she can receive after attending the conference is leaving inspired, and she believes that she will feel even more passionate about her decision to pursue medicine at Penn State one day, “I plan to start out at Shawnee to earn my undergrad, but I would love to transfer to Penn State, but it’s still early.”
In her free time Lakota loves playing volleyball and spending time with her family, but says she doesn’t want to take her eyes off the prize. “I take college classes and so I really want to focus on that.” Carver’s mother said that she hopes people see and recognize the hard work put in for this opportunity her daughter has earned, “so many kids get recognized daily for their athletic abilities. I believe children should be recognized for their academic ability first and foremost.”