Q: How did you choose to attend Truman State University and how did you pick your major?
A: I picked Truman because I was familiar with the school, and then with the Elks scholarship, for me it was a done deal. I thought I wanted to do engineering, so I started out in physics. I was required to take chemistry, which I hated in high school. When I took it in college, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. So, I got my bachelors in chemistry.
Q: What have you been up to since graduation?
A: I went to the University of Illinois for a graduate degree. I hated chemistry in high school and I wanted to teach chemistry and help kids realize how cool it is. I finished up and got my master's degree, and I got a teaching certificate as well. I then got a job teaching chemistry locally. I kept hearing people say I should be a doctor and thought maybe I should give it a shot. So, I signed up for the MCAT and I’m currently in medical school at the University of Illinois.
Q: What did your ENF scholarship mean to you?
A: It meant I could go to college and a lot of stress just disappeared. I could go to college without taking out loans. I know it’s a big honor, but at the time I don’t think I realized what a big deal it was—I came to realize it was a big deal.
Q: What was your favorite memory from attending the Elks Convention?
A: The interview. They sat me down and interviewed me about everything and how I got there. The female MVS winner there, too. It was really interesting to hear what my counterpart did. It was cool to hear how similar her story was to mine.
Q: What advice do you have for other Elks scholars?
A: If you think you want to go do something, go do it. If you think you want to pursue a certain degree, go do it. And if it doesn’t work, at least you tried.
Q: What is an interesting fact about you that most people would find surprising or unexpected?
A: I don’t really think I’m very smart. It’s crazy because all the evidence points otherwise. I’ve come to realize my siblings all think I’m a super genius, but I never realized they looked up to me that way.