Whether it be working the projection screen with her pastor’s notes or helping with her mother’s dance ministry, one of Phillisha Hopson’s favorite things to do is participating in church activities. She does a lot of things within the church, but she has also received inspiration from attending. One man at her church shared the story of his stage 4 cancer diagnosis. For about four years, he went back and forth to the hospital and last year he told the church his testimony as a survivor. “His testimony continues to uplift me to the point of wanting to be of some help to people going through this ordeal,” Phillisha stated in an essay. When she listened to him discuss his story, and listened to how he spoke of the doctors and staff who saved his life, Phillisha said she could “see the happiness and thankfulness in his eyes.” This inspired her to become one of those people who helped people like him. Because of this, she plans to continue her education and pursue a medical degree with a focus in clinical radiation science.
Because of its top medical school, Phillisha plans to attend Virginia Commonwealth University for college. Along with its medical program, she also likes that it is close to home. “What excited me about radiography is how it directly relates science and technology, my favorite subjects,” she stated. “The science lies with the knowledge of the human body and the technology completes the field by working with machines.” Although she’s not sure of the exact direction she’ll go within the radiology field, one particular career she is interested in is working as a radiation therapist, people who help create treatment plans.
While she is still in high school, one lesson Phillisha will take with her to college is to always work hard. “Take things a step at a time and not get too stressed,” she said. “Take time to be compressed and calm down, and take a breather and get back at it.” Phillisha currently maintains a 3.76 GPA. She is a member of the Book Club, National Art Honor Society, Key Club, the Community Council and she participated in the VCU Health Science Academy. Outside of her church, she has also volunteered with a local elementary school and volunteered as a teen summer camp counselor. Through volunteering and working with so many different people, Phillisha learned just how many different personalities there are.
Two of Phillisha’s biggest inspirations are her mother and sister. “She’s a single mom and she basically raised me by herself,” she said about her mother. “She’s a very strong, independent woman.” Phillisha also described her older sister, who is currently a senior at the University of Richmond, as a hard worker. In the future, Phillisha hopes to also inspire others by giving back to her community. One of the ways she plans to do this is by educating others on the importance of radiography and the radiation science field.