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2019 Surgical Hope Foundation Scholarship Winner (GCA) - Sarah Fisher

Congratulations to Sarah Fisher, one of three recipients of the 2019 Meadows Surgical Arts Surgical Hope Foundation Scholarship for Georgia-Cumberland Academy!

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, through the Surgical Hope Foundation, Dr. & Mrs. Meadows offer a scholarship to one graduating high school senior from each of four local high schools to help fund their college endeavors. Each student must complete an essay describing their aspirations and goals in pursuing a medical career. This year, scholarships were also awarded to students at Georgia-Cumberland Academy in Calhoun, GA.

Each student must complete an essay describing their aspirations and goals in pursuing a medical career. This is Ms. Fisher's essay:

"It was not until my eight-grade year where I found a passion for leading others. I received the position as girls' team captain on my gymnastics team. There, I began to step out of my comfort zone and found my niche for being an example to others and being in charge of leading a group of people. It was not until my years at Georgia-Cumberland Academy where I realized my full potential. My first year in high school, I received the title class vice-president and junior year I was girls dorm representative. My positions as class officers helped me mature and learn to work with different type of people and provide for the needs of every one in our class as a whole. This year, my senior year, I got the ultimate feel of what it was like to be a true leader. I became a part of the Gordon County Youth Leadership Program, where we would learn about our counties resources and how to live up to our potential as a leader. I also became the girls' team captain for our gymnastics team along with a job working as the gymnastics worker under the team coach. My love for leading over these past few years have made me realize I want to go into a career as my own boss and own some type of practice of my own. There I could lead a group of people and have a better chance to be an example.

Growing up and having a mother involved in the medical field as a nurse practitioner, I would say that nursing is the career path I would take. My love for all babies and kids lead me to believe that a NICU nurse or working in labor and delivery would be the right path for me. For a while, I even considered the possibility of becoming a nurse practitioner. The thing that appealed to me most about this job was the fact that they see a problem and immediately fix it or start the process of fixing it. The flexibility of the job was also something that I loved, because I want a big family in the future. Although these jobs ultimately would be ideal, my queasiness around things such as deep wounds and a lot of blood made me rethink my career choice. For the longest time I had absolutely no clue what career path I would follow, but I knew I wanted something in the medical field.

Through the process of getting braces and seeing the change over time in my teeth, I became very intrigued. It was not until I got my braces off and the feeling that I received from seeing my teeth and how I looked that I even considered becoming an orthodontist. In my career, I would need something that was not all deskwork oriented, a job where I could interact with people, and a job where I could make a difference and feel accomplished. These are only a few of the things that the job as an orthodontist would provide for me. I set my mind on orthodontics or healthcare, but it was not until a mission trip to Ecuador where I made up my mind.

Ecuador was one of the most humbling and eye-opening experiences that I have taken part of. The conditions that the people were living in were miserable Their housing was destroyed or damaged due to the earthquake, the water they drank was dirty and filled with parasites, teeth and body parts slowly decaying or being infected due to poor hygiene. Working in the medical clinics for two days and the dentist clinic for one day, completely changed my perspective in life. I saw the side of the people that most in our group did not get to see. I got to witness multiple pregnant teens, a man going blind due to his hard work outside to provide for his family, peoples teeth completely rotting due to the point where they had a lot of pain. All these experiences helped me realize that I want to stay in the health career, but it was not until a certain patient where I made my final career choice. A girl around the age 13 came in to the dentist clinic with braces on and she began to say that she has had her braces on for about 3 years. She began to explain that the nearest orthodontist was 8 hours away and they did not have the money or the time to make the trip so they were just going to leave her braces on, and lord knows how much longer she would have had them if it were not for us being there. Our main dentist, Dr. Lopez said he would remove them for her and would let me help. I fell in love with the process of doing it and I will not forget the smile she had after seeing herself without her braces. There I realized that if I want to make a difference and be able to help people and see the satisfaction of my patients, and becoming an orthodontist would be the career path I need to take.

Another positive aspect to being in the medical field is the fact that I could go back on a mission trip like the one in Ecuador and give back. The thing that stood out to me the most about the medical professionals that came on our trip to Ecuador is that they took off work where they could be taking care of patients and are paid, yet they came and took care of patients that did not pay them. In the future after I receive my diploma as a dentist, I hope to go back on missions trips with GCA or other organizations to give back to others."

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


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