HW: Palisade youth picked for medical forum

Sarah Galloway has always dreamed of becoming a doctor.

Her desire to be a pediatrician became even stronger in February when the Palisade High School sophomore received an e-mail notification that she was selected to attend this summer’s National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in San Francisco.

Students asked to attend the forum must be nominated by a teacher or mentor or by information on pre-college surveys such as the National Research Center for College and University Admissions Talent Identification Program.

Galloway, 16, who is an International Baccalaureate student, was nominated through the Talent Identification Program.

The last year a Palisade student was selected was 2002, Galloway said.

During the forum, Galloway, 16, will meet physicians and hear speakers. She will tour hospitals, watch surgeries and attend seminars on technological advances in medicine.

When she isn’t in scrubs, she must dress professionally.

Galloway hopes the honor of attending the forum will stand out on college applications.

“It was always my dream to be a doctor,” she said.

The forum travel, food and tuition costs are roughly $4,500 for the 10-day forum in San Francisco, one of eight cities where the medical leadership forums are held.

Galloway will stay in dorms at the University of California at Berkeley. It is the same university Galloway wants to attend after high school graduation.

It wasn’t long ago that Galloway didn’t believe any of her dreams could come true.

Starting at age of 2, Galloway has been in and out of the foster care system because her mother or father couldn’t or didn’t want to care for her, Galloway said.

Galloway was placed in the care of Connie Galloway at age 10 and the single mother adopted the teenager about three years ago.

Connie Galloway, who has three daughters of her own, has cared for more than two dozen foster children, but Sarah Galloway was the first foster child she adopted.

“Sarah has so much going for her,” said Connie Galloway.

Sarah Galloway knows she has two sisters and three brothers born to her birth mother or father, but she will be the first of those siblings to graduate from high school.

Education always has been important to her, and she’s always cared about her grades and tried her best through the years, Sarah Galloway said.

But it hasn’t been without some effort.

School is difficult. She studies hours for assignments in math and science, her favorite subjects. Being an International Baccalaureate student is tough, she said.

“I make sure she stays at school and gets help,” said Connie Galloway, who can’t help her daughter with homework because Sarah Galloway is taking classes more advanced than her adopted mother’s education.

Sarah Galloway, who works part time at Burger King in Clifton and volunteers at Retreat Harbor Cove assisted living home, hopes Mesa County residents will help her gather the funds to get to San Francisco.

“I’ve always loved helping people,” Sarah Gallaway said. “I can do this.”


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