Stephanie Clark pursues dreams thanks to Lions Youth of the Year

Achiever: Stephanie Clark is pursuing her dreams thanks to the Lions Youth of the Year.

Achiever: Stephanie Clark is pursuing her dreams thanks to the Lions Youth of the Year.

Even when you lose, you can still win.

Just ask St Columba Anglican School year 11 student Stephanie Clark.

After competing in the Lions Youth of the Year event this year, Stephanie probably thought that finishing in the top six students in the state could be perceived as not being successful. Not winning.

This is despite answering a series of general knowledge questions in a structured interview and delivering a prepared speech following by two impromptu speeches.

“Then I decided to review the achievements of the ultimate winner for NSW, and I became aware of a learning opportunity,” she said.

“The winner of the NSW contest had attended some Ivy League Universities in the USA, Harvard and Stanford.”

Intrigued, Stephanie began asking questions if she could experience the same type of education.

“So I googled the summer school programs provided by the major universities in the USA. My focus was in medicine,” she added.

Each year the major universities run programs for high schools students to experience a theory and practice workshop at their schools and hospitals. The programs run between one to eight weeks in the US summer holidays. 

Thanks to a supportive letter from her year coordinator at St Columba, Dr Janine Stewart and a good academic record, she was awarded a place at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. She was selected over 1000 applications.  

On day one, she received her white coat and then in small groups, completed two weeks of intense practical and theoretical workshops.

This included suturing, first aid, wound management, disease state knowledge, biochemistry training and lectures from orthopaedic surgeons, paediatricians and gastroenterologists. The highlight was working in the hospitals, consulting with patients under supervision. 

This program ignited her passion for a career in Medicine.

“My ultimate goal is to go to the UNSW Rural Clinical School in Port Macquarie and one day, become a doctor working in a regional area.

“I am passionate about medicine, in particular working in rural areas.” 

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