Ashley Nicole Courtney was nominated for the National Youth Leadership Forum on medicine by GMHS AP Chemistry teacher John Davis last fall. She left Saturday for a week-long trip to the forum in Boston.
The rising senior will study medicine and visit various hospitals in the Boston area during the week. She looks forward to meeting new people in the medical field and learning more about her future profession.
“I’m excited about the new experience,” Courtney said.
Boston is one of 10 cities where scholars will join to learn more about medicine this summer. The forum will introduce students to issues in public health, medical ethics, research and general practice.
Students will have the opportunity to diagnose a fictional patient during a simulation where they will be presented with case history and have to problem solve.
“Each student may very well be the face of the future of medicine,” NYLF Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Marguerite C. Regan said. “The National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine creates a virtual classroom with hospitals, clinical facilities and healthcare professionals.
“By shadowing key personnel, these students will have a great opportunity to gain a behind-the-scenes perspective on a medical career. The timing is critical of young people exploring their career path, just prior to immersing themselves in college coursework.”
Courtney won’t have to face the challenge alone. While she will be the only one from her family attending the conference, her parents, John and Phyllis, and her sister, Amber, took a vacation in Boston at the same time as the forum.
Family and community is what made Courtney enthusiastic about the medical field. Her sister has diabetes and Courtney would like to help find a cure for the disease.
She has participated in a diabetes clinic with the GMHS basketball team and volunteered with Race for the Cure.
Courtney also has helped at a homeless shelter with the Poplar Springs Christian Church and has taken part in the Help Stop Hunger program.
“I like to help people,” Courtney said.
Courtney hopes to attend Georgia Tech after graduating from GMHS next spring. She plans to study biomedical engineering and would like to eventually get a doctorate. Courtney said she could receive college credit for taking part in the forum.
Courtney has played the piano since sixth grade and runs half marathons. She uses the same techniques – determination, endurance and will power – from those experiences in life.
“I’ve learned to persevere through things,” she said. “I’m a very determined person and I’m motivated.”