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Glenbard West student to get hands-on medical experience

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 6:00 a.m. CDT
Glenbard West freshman Emily Asselmeier, shown here with her dad, Scott, at the school's Daddy Daughter Dance in February, will attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine this summer in Chicago. Submitted photo.

GLEN ELLYN – Glenbard West freshman Emily Asselmeier has always liked science.

When she was younger, she couldn’t explain what it was about the school subject that interested her. But later on, she found it was science’s ability to explain what she witnessed every day.

“You could just be walking down the street or something, and it helps you explain everything around you,” Emily said. “That’s what fascinates me, is that it applies to every aspect of your life.”

In July, Emily will take her love of science to the next level when she participates in the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Chicago, which her biology teacher, Kim Sammarco, nominated her to attend.

Sammarco said she nominates up to 10 students every year who impress her early in the school year “with maturity, academic excellence and an obvious interest in health sciences.”

The forum is a 10-day experience that gives high schoolers a taste of what it would be like to attend medical school and work in medicine.

Emily will spend July 7 through 16 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she’ll learn about medicine, witness a surgery and participate in a trauma simulation.

She knows a student who previously attended the forum and called it a life-changing experience – something she hopes to replicate when she attends.

“I’m hoping that it will definitely have the same effect,” she said.

Emily’s mom, Mary, said she’s excited for her daughter to attend the forum, saying she was always a “curious kid.”

“I’m excited because any time one of your kids shows a passion for something, it’s fun to watch,” Mary Asselmeier said.

Although Emily comes from a family of doctors, she didn’t start thinking seriously about applying her love of science to a future in the medical field until this school year. She continues to point herself in that direction with the forum this summer.

And after learning about science and medicine in her school books, Emily said she’s ready to get more hands-on experience in the field.

“You’ll be able to witness medicine in action,” she said. “That’s what I’m most excited about.”

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