Reaching for Dreams
August opens up the doors for every high school graduate to really begin their journey, reaching for their dreams and looking forward to their college careers. Zachary Wiley is on his way, setting his sights on a life of medicine, his first stop is Notre Dame, for his general education, and bachelor’s degree. Then his plans include Stanford for his choice of medical schools.
Graduating with top honors from Steele Canyon, Wiley was second in his class out of approximately 500, sitting at the graduation ceremony as Salutatorian. He mentioned that several of the graduates were headed for Cal Poly, Brown, Cornell, UC Davis, USD, and UCSD. Zachary was featured in the June 26th edition of The Alpine Sun, as one of the recipients of the Alpine Woman’s Club Scholarships. He also received scholarships from the Woman’s Guild, the Alpine Community Church, and Dehesa Dollars for Scholars.
Wiley credited his AP Biology teacher, Ms. Jenson as a great inspiration to him, and a person that pushed him into the idea of being a doctor. He also visited Boston on a National Youth Leadership Forum for 10 days in the summer before his junior year of high school, visiting a Harvard undergraduate program for young adults who are aspiring to be doctors. Wiley not only wants to be a doctor, though, he wants to be an orthopedic surgeon.
“I did better than I thought I would do,” He said of seeing a cadaver. “It’s actually interesting to see the inside of a body.” He has had the opportunity to see surgeries take place, watching a knee replacement on video, and while on the 10 day forum, he tried his hand at sutchering, or sewing skin. To do this he practiced cutting a banana, as the banana skin is thick, much like human skin, and then using a sutcher needle which is small and curved, stitching the skin back together. The key to stitching skin is to make a neat job of it, making sure that the two cut edges meet so that the natural mending process leave as little scar as possible.
Wiley knows he has a long road ahead of him, he also knows that only 85% of students that apply for medical school are actually accepted. His prospects are good though, as he is a focused and serious young man, who is willing to put in the work to achieve his goals. But, he does have a back-up plan. Wiley describes himself as a very tactile person, who likes to work with his hands. If his plans to become an orthopedic surgeon are derailed, he will pursue other medical avenues.
Regarding Notre Dame, he smiles. He said, “It’s big and impressive, but everyone is friendly”. He also said that to get ready for the transition from the small town of Alpine to a large university, he has visited the Notre Dame Club of San Diego, where Alumni’s of the university meet. He said that through the club, he has met other students who are heading east to the club’s Alma Mater, he even said that he heard through the grapevine that there may be another student who attended Joan MacQueen with Wiley who may be attending Notre Dame.
Reaching for dreams