Ever since she was little, Samantha Ayres knew she wanted to be a doctor. “Growing up, I spent a lot of time in hospitals due to my father’s epilepsy,” Samantha stated in an essay. “Seeing the doctors and nurses treat their patients sparked the realization in me that I wanted to do the same thing when I got older.” Samantha has always enjoyed working with children, which influenced her to pursue pediatrics. During her time in the Health Sciences Academy, Samantha had the opportunity to shadow a pediatric nurse. Being around the children and experiencing the medical field firsthand is what reassured her that she was on the right path.
Samantha plans to continue her education by getting her undergraduate degree and then attending medical school. Next fall, she plans to major in biology at the University of Richmond. “I could tell that they have a really big focus on academics and that’s something that I wanted since I had a really rigorous academic life in high school,” Samantha said about why she wanted to attend the university. She also enjoyed the sense of community within the small school and everyone’s welcoming attitude. While she still had time to decide, as of now, Samantha’s top choice for medical school is Pennsylvania State University.
Although she is still in high school, Samantha constantly prepares for college by putting a big focus on her education. She currently maintains a 4.91 GPA. “It was always just kind of natural for me. I just always knew I was supposed to work hard in school,” Samantha said. Seeing her hard work reflected in her grades encouraged her to continue working hard. The fact that her hard work paid off, is one lesson Samantha plans on taking with her to college.
Although she is serious about her academics, Samantha also takes time to participate in extracurricular activities. One way she gives back to the community is by volunteering at the Richmond SPCA. In school, she is a member of the National Honor Society, FBLA, the Key Club, Mu Alpha Theta and Honor Council. Her favorite activities to do outside of school is to play sports such as volleyball and softball. “I think they provide somewhat of an outlet for me because I have so much to do with school,” she said. “It’s kind of a set time I have to not worry about school and I can just have fun.” She has played softball for almost nine years. Even before she was on a team, she played with her dad which is why it is one of her favorite activities to do outside of school and she plans to continue playing. Although she’s worked hard in school, Samantha said she was still able to have a fun high school experience.
One of her biggest influences is her mother. “She’s super hard working in my eyes because she has her own business,” Samantha said. “That’s a big inspiration to me because I don’t know if I could handle my own business.” With the support of her family, Samantha plans to continue working hard in college so she can achieve her long-term goal of becoming a pediatrician. She said accomplishing that goal would make her life feel complete.