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2017 Surgical Hope Foundation Scholarship Winner (Banks) - Taylor Freeman

Congratulations to Taylor Freeman, the recipient of the 2017 Meadows Surgical Arts Surgical Hope Foundation Scholarship for Banks County High School!

The Surgical Hope Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides outpatient surgical services at no cost to those in need. Founded by Dr. Lionel Meadows and his wife, Kathryn Meadows, RN, BSN, the Surgical Hope Foundation gives many patients the opportunity to fulfill their medical needs without the added burden of finances.

Each year, Dr. & Mrs. Meadows offer a scholarship to three graduating high school seniors to help fund their college endeavors. Each student must complete an essay describing their aspirations and goals in pursuing a medical career. This is Ms. Freeman's essay:

Since I was a young child, it has been my dream to become a Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeon. When I was five years old, my little brother was born with transposition of the great vessels. He was immediately sent to the Children's Hospital in Atlanta for surgery. I was terrified that I would lose the sweet little baby that I instantly fell in love with the second I saw him through the glass. After long hours of open heart surgery, my brother was saved. He would be able to live a mostly normal life and he would grow up to be the amazing and smart boy that he is today. That day changed my life. I was only five years old, but I knew that I wanted to be a Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeon so I could one day save children for their families the way that my brother's doctors saved him for my family.

One year before my brother was born, I became a cheerleader and I have just finished my last season of cheerleading. Being a cheerleader is like being part of another family; your teammates become your sisters, your coaches become your role models, and you become a role model to younger girls. Cheerleading wasn't just a sport to me, it was my passion. I spent fourteen years of my life as a cheerleader during which I learned how important it is to be dedicated to everything that you do. It also taught me that sometimes, you have to work with people that you may not like very much. Cheerleading has taught me these traits can be used everyday in the real world and it has made me who I am today.

In addition to cheerleading, I have also been involved in many school clubs. My freshman year, I participated in FFA (Future Farmer's of America), FCCLA (Family, Consumer, and Careers Leaders of America), HOSA (Health Occupation Student Association), and JLOP (Just Loving On People). Once I became a sophomore and joined BETA club, I realized that I could better serve my time if I were in fewer clubs so that I could be more devoted to each one. During that year, I participated in BETA club, FCCLA, JLOP, and FCA. The older I got, the more difficult my classes got so I decided to narrow down. My junior year, I participated in BETA club and FCA. This year, I have participated in BETA club, FCA, and Spanish club. Through all four years, I have learned that it is often best to dedicate your time and effort to fewer tasks that way you can do them better.

Being in these different clubs has exposed me to many different people and from those people I have learned that not everyone has the same kind of life as I do. I grew up in a split family. My parents got divorced when I was seven, and like most children, I thought that it was my fault. My mother didn't always date the best of men, so I went through a lot of hardship at a very young age. I always thought that everything bad that happened to me was my fault, but I was wrong. Now that I have branched out and met many types of people, I know that everyone has issues. Even someone whose parents are still perfectly happy and act like the "cookie cutter" family has issues. Maybe, to me, their issues would seem stupid and pointless compared to mine, but to them they're just as big and scary as my problems. On the other hand, there is probably someone who has had a worse life than me and they would probably think that my problems simply pale in comparison to theirs. Being involved in my school has helped me gain perspective on how different people may go through different things, but that we will always need a friend in our corner to be there for us.

My plan after high school is to attend the University of Georgia and major in cellular biology. I would be taking all of the necessary courses needed to take a bachelor's degree in cellular biology and to complete the pre-medical program. I would be about twenty-two years old when I graduated with this degree. After graduating, I plan to work as an intern at Northeast Georgia Medical Center while going to Emory University to obtain my degree in cardiology. This degree would take anywhere from four to eight years to obtain. Once I earn a degree in Cardiology, I would be in my late twenties, and I plan to work as a non-invasive cardiologist at Children's Healthcare. I plan to work non-invasively for about six years while I also complete the courses needed to become a Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeon. In all, I will be attending college for roughly twelve to sixteen years.

Obtaining a scholarship for college would help me reach my goals because I do not come from a well-off family. In fact, my mother was recently divorced and has been supporting my brother and I on her own for the past nine months. It has been tough, and we've had to cut back on certain things but we've made it work. I work after school and every other weekend to help pay for small things like shampoo and conditioner when we need it; however I will need my own car to be able to commute to college so I am trying to save up enough money to get myself a dependable yet reasonable car.

I have held good grades all throughout school, and I plan to continue to do so in college. Now that I have gotten into college, some of my stress have been relieved. However, when I think about the things I have to pay in order to go to the University of Georgia, my head begins to spin. I would be the first member of my family to graduate high school and go to college. Receiving this scholarship would help me be able to achieve my goal that I set thirteen years ago. There is nothing that I want more than to accomplish this and make my family proud.

We would like to congratulate Ms. Freeman on her achievements, and wish her the very best in her future scholastic and career endeavors.



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