Q&A: Student council leader wants to pursue medical career

Junior+Mykenna+Roy+is+continuing+to+take+on+leadership+positions%2C+as+she+was+recently+elected+president+of+next+year%27s+senior+class+and+next+year%27s+National+Honors+Society.

Mykenna Roy

Junior Mykenna Roy is continuing to take on leadership positions, as she was recently elected president of next year’s senior class and next year’s National Honors Society.

Kelsey Mize, Guest Writer

In an exclusive interview, The Paw Print’s Kelsey Mize sat down with junior Mykenna Roy about her aspirations to become a doctor.

Kelsey: First and foremost, why do you want to become a doctor?

Roy: Because I hope to make a difference in someone’s life. I’m fascinated with biology and the way the human body works, and I love working with people and trying to help them in any way I can, so the two go hand-in-hand. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to care for people in a way that helps them in the future. I want to help people grow and be their best selves. For seriously ill patients, I want to be someone that helps them through every step of their illness and makes sure they never feel alone in their fight. I just want to be there for someone while being able to study the topics that fascinate me.

Kelsey: I think that is so great that you want to help people in the future.  It’s something that takes a lot of courage, intelligence, and patience and I applaud you for going through with that. When did you realize that you wanted to become a doctor?

Roy: When I was around 8 or 9, my mom knew I was curious about doctors, so she took me to one of her OB/GYN appointments. There, I met the doctor who delivered me, and I was totally fascinated with the whole process. I had a lot of questions for him, and he answered all of them with great detail. Then I asked him if all the babies he delivered made it home okay, and he paused. He explained to me, and I’ll never forget what he said, that not all the babies get to go home, but all of them will be loved by him. I remember sitting there, sad that some babies don’t make it out of the hospital, but I wanted to love them all too. I can’t remember his name, but when my mom’s doctor told me that he always made sure every kid felt loved, I knew that’s what I wanted to do too. I wanted to be that person for someone, the one that made them feel safe and loved and cared for, because nobody should ever have to feel alone.

Kelsey: That is such a descriptive memory you have and just goes to show just how sentimental this profession is to you. Who have you loved working with most in either the school or community and how have they helped you with forming your driven personality?

Roy: I have loved working with Robert Friel, who was the one that introduced me to most of the places I currently volunteer at. He gave me great insight on the importance of giving back to the community, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities he has introduced me to. One of my favorite places to volunteer with him at is the Ohio City Farm, where we work with refugees to help provide freshly grown food for those who need it. Working together with these people has helped me learn the importance of teamwork. It’s made me want to continue to help out those who may be less fortunate than I am. However, my favorite organization to volunteer with by far is Youth Challenge, where I team up with kids with physical disabilities to play inclusive and adapted sports. The joy that I see in their faces and the joy I get from being around them has made me realize how much I love working with young people and being a part of something positive in their lives. I also teach self-defense and Jiu-Jitsu to young kids three nights a week, which is something I absolutely adore doing. Most of the kids come in pretty insecure with themselves and have problems with bullies, but when they stick with the program, I get to watch them gain confidence and grow as people. Being able to help them blossom into strong kids who know how to stick up for themselves is such an amazing thing to be a part of. 

Kelsey: Wow, I can see all of the events that you’ve been a part of have really affected you throughout the years. All of these leadership roles you have gone through are for sure going to shape your future! Speaking of these roles, what extracurricular activities are you involved in and will be president of senior year? 

Roy: I am currently the vice president of the junior class Student Council, and I have had that position my freshman and sophomore years too. I am also a part of the Science Olympiad team and the National Honor Society. As for sports, I am a part of the cross country and track and field teams. My senior year, I will be the president of the senior class Student Council and president of the National Honor Society.

Kelsey: It’s always beneficial to get involved in your school community! Was there any influential experience that made you realize you wanted to help people? 

Roy: I’m not sure. I’ve had a few low points in my life where it was other people that pulled me back up. I’m so thankful for everyone who has helped me get to where I am today, and I think I just want to do the same thing for someone else, kind of like a continuous pay-it-forward chain. I know what it’s like to struggle, and I know that everyone struggles sometimes too, and I just want to make that struggle at least a little easier for the person going through it. I also think that growing up with a ‘disability’ has pushed me to want to help other kids who may be struggling with similar things. I’ve had a lot of moments where I felt like a total outcast and a freak for being deaf and wearing hearing aids, and I didn’t want other people like me to feel the same way. When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I researched other types of disabilities and tried to put able-bodied people in those shoes. I was promoting inclusivity, and I hoped that I was helping close the ‘gap’ between people with and without disabilities. I think that during that time I realized that being a doctor for kids with disabilities would be pretty amazing. Not only would I be able to kind of relate to their struggles, but I would also be able to help them feel less like they don’t belong and help them embrace who they are.

Kelsey: It’s refreshing to hear someone talk about loving helping people so much, an extreme change from what we’ve been hearing lately for sure. It also takes a lot of courage to come out and talk about these things, very honorable. In talks of helping others, what type of doctor do you want to be and why?

Roy: I’m not entirely sure what kind of doctor I want to be yet, but I’d love to work with kids and maybe specialize in some type of pediatrics. Children are our future and I want to do what I can to help them get to where they need to be. 

Kelsey: That’s awesome! There are so many different doctor careers out there it would be hard to choose! What do you hope to plan out the upcoming years? Do you have a set plan on what you want to accomplish? 

Roy: I like to think that I have my life planned out, which would mean going to college, then med school, becoming a doctor, and filling in all the important events along the way like getting married and starting a family. However, I know that life can be unpredictable, and I think that as long as I’m helping other people in some way I would feel accomplished. That’s all I really want to do, you know? I just want to make a difference in the lives of others.

Kelsey: Very ambitious! I like to see people work hard. Do you have any idea where you want to see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

Roy: Hopefully I’ll be finishing up med school and going through my residency at that point. I’ll be pretty career-driven and focused for the next few years, and probably decades, and I’m hoping that will pay off in the future.

Kelsey: Lastly, what is the most important advice or life lesson you have learned throughout your years of community service? 

Roy: It’s the community that makes the service, if that makes sense. A community of people coming together to help each other or another community of people… it’s all about working with each other. When you do service projects with another person or group of people in your mind, it becomes about them, and any ounce of selfishness that you might have had just goes away. When you do something to truly benefit someone else, and it’s not for your own personal gain, that’s when you really get that sense of community and service. Some people do volunteer work for the hours that they can put on a resume or application, but if you’re not volunteering your time with the drive to help others… there’s really no point to it. It’s all about community: working with people for people.