By ANTHONY SPAULDING
Director of Communications
Pope John XXIII Regional High School
Even though she is a month away from beginning her junior year at Pope John XXIII Regional High School, Allison Beltrani already has her dream job in mind.
“I want to be a trauma surgeon for the Air Force,” Beltrani said.
Beltrani knows there are many steps she needs to take to make this dream a reality, but she feels she is getting a head start on it by learning how to be a leader while currently attending the National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Health Care at American University in Washington D.C.
“I’ve improved so much as a leader,” Beltrani said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “I have natural leadership qualities and I like to take charge when it comes to certain things. But here, I’ve learned to share the role of being a leader with everyone because we are people who want the same things in life and are willing to listen, be positive and do whatever it takes to succeed.”
Beltrani is in her seventh day at the conference, which lasts until Saturday. So far, she has attended workshops, clinical simulations, lecture series, and other activities that can help her and other students prepare for careers in the medical field while also building leadership skills.
Among the most memorable activities for Beltrani has been working with a group of students on a project in which are spreading awareness of the effects of mental illness after rape and providing a sanctuary for survivors where they will receive free health care services from therapists. There, she witnessed and applied all of the qualities of being a leader.
“Being able to work with other people for a cause is empowering,” Beltrani said. “It is so fulfilling.”
Beltrani has also liked the clinical simulation in which she and a group of students had to “rush in” to help a person who was in trauma following a plane crash. In addition, she has liked performing medical tasks such as drawing blood from an arm, learning how to open up airways in a person who is not breathing, dissecting a heart of a lamb, and dissecting a cow’s eye.
Beltrani said the leadership and technical skills she has gained are going to play a big role in her pursuit of becoming an Air Force trauma surgeon, a career that she has a lot of interest in doing because of her family.
“My whole family has been in the Air Force, so I’ve always wanted to go into it,” Beltrani said. “Also, my little sister has muscle development problem, so I’ve always wanted to do something to help people with that or other conditions.”
In the meantime, she will also use these skills to keep developing as a Pope John student over the next two years. Beltrani said she was glad that she got the chance to be able to attend this conference.
“This is important for me to do,” Beltrani said. “I feel that I am a better person and leader because of this.”
Want to share your Summer Story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on our social media accounts.