North Summit student nominated for national program |

North Summit student nominated for national program

Alexandria Gonzalez, The Park Record
North Summit High School sophomore Makenzi Lewis stands in front of her house in Coalville. She is one of only five students in the nation to be nominated for the National Youth Leadership Forum: Careers in Medicine this year. Christopher Reeves/Park Record.
Makenzi Lewis of Coalville, Utah (Photo by: Christopher Reeves/The Park Record)

Each year, only five students across the nation are nominated to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum: Careers in Medicine. They are given the opportunity to travel to one of 13 different colleges in the country to dive head-first into the field of medicine. Makenzi Lewis of North Summit High School is one of those five students.

She sat on the couch in her home in Coalville dressed in a red University of Utah hooded sweatshirt, the college she said she aspires to attend after high school graduation in 2016.

Lewis is currently ranked in the top 10 of her class, and in addition to making good grades and maintaining a high grade point average, someone anonymously nominated her to the program.

"I wish I knew who nominated me so I could give them credit," Lewis said, "but I’m just glad they did it."

Lewis said she is grateful to have the opportunity to explore the career she one day hopes to have: a doctor specializing in emergency medicine. This dream began, she said, when she was in fifth grade.

A classmate fell and scuffed his knee during recess, and Lewis said she helped her bleeding classmate into the bathroom to clean the cut before heading to the nurse’s office.

"I just really liked the rush of it and the adrenaline," Lewis said. "I also love helping people, and being an emergency doctor is both of those things."

She has already begun to work toward that goal with her courses in school, which include her favorite class: anatomy. She had to take biology last year and developed a close relationship with her teacher, Mrs. Marsh.

"She is an amazing teacher," Lewis said. "She is the one who encourages me to go to medical school."

Lewis not only dreams of becoming a doctor but of travelling the country. The softball-playing, drum line-marching teenager said that her wanderlust has driven her to seek work at the University of Alaska Anchorage – Alaska Regional Hospital one day, because she has always wanted to visit the state.

She had 13 different choices as to where to go for the National Leadership Forum, including locations in Texas, California and Florida, but she chose Chicago, Ill. because she has always wanted to see Wrigley Field.

She will get to see the famous baseball field in June of 2014 if she is able to raise enough money to get there.

"Part of the program is that you have to earn your way there," Lewis said.,"so I held a bake sale at the football state quarter-finals this weekend and raised almost $400."

Lewis will need to raise $2,000 by June plus an extra $500 to reserve her spot at the forum. She used the money raised to reserve her spot and hopes to continue raising funds with more bake sales, a raffle and general donations to a bank account currently being set up in her name.

With the help of donations, Lewis said she is excited to get to Chicago next summer and be taken under the wing of first-year medical students, learn how to resuscitate and intubate and watch live surgeries.

"I want to go to college, become a registered nurse and work while going to medical school to become a doctor," Lewis said.

She said that her mother, along with family friends Lacy Brundy and Megan Dawson, has been a huge help in making that goal a reality by helping to raise the necessary funds.

Until then, Lewis is catching up on her schoolwork having missed school last week after an appendectomy on Monday kept her bed-ridden.

"It’s tough coming home to a backpack full of homework, but I’ll get it done," Lewis said. "I’m just excited for the holiday breaks so I can spend time with my family."

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