Graduating Senior Aims for Career in Cancer Research

Graduating Senior Aims for Career in Cancer Research

by Sarah McCurdy

Lake Dallas High School Senior, Sarah Dunn, can check off MIT, Rice University, Abilene Christian University, and Harvard University from the list of colleges she has been accepted into, so far. The 17-year-old doesn’t know which school she will pick, but she does know she wants to devote herself to cancer research.

“I want to attend a college that will put me on the path to being a part of ending an evil that has plagued our world for far too long,” Dunn said.

Her college selection will be based, in part, by acceptance into the honors colleges, science research programs or pre-med tracks at each school. Rice only accepts six students a year in their pre-med program. ACU’s pre-med Honors College has a high number of students accepted into medical schools so admission there is competitive. Whichever school she chooses, she wants to end up in a cancer research center.

“I am anxiously waiting for the return letters,” Dunn said.

Dunn, a 13-year student of LDISD schools, splits her time between schoolwork, college prep, writing her books and being with her family. She’s also seen every Friday night on the football field leading her fellow Color Guard members as their captain.

“Balance is a crucial part of my life,” Dunn said. “The best way I have found to achieve equilibrium and maintain balance is a combination of advanced planning and time management. At the end of the day, however, there will be conflicts that are unavoidable, and having a clear list of priorities helps to choose between overlapping events.”

As a sophomore, Dunn was accepted into the Texas Academy of Math and Science, an early college entrance program located at the University of North Texas. She chose not to accept the honor for several reasons, but chief among them was being part of the Color Guard.

“I didn’t want to leave them, and being a part of such an eclectic group gave me the chance to be something other than a student,” Dunn said. “They gave me the chance to be their captain, and during my time with the Color Guard, I grew as a leader and a person.”

Dunn’s bond with her family, including her three sisters, Julia, Sophia and Jenna, helps her stay focused on what is important.

“My family has been there every step of the way letting me know they will support me in whatever choice I make, especially my college search,” Dunn said. “My sisters are my biggest supporters alongside my parents, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”

Mr. James Parker, Lake Dallas Middle School principal; and former LDHS adviser Mrs. Anne Lehew have had a significant impact on Dunn’s success, along with her LDHS teachers.

“Being supported in such a way means the world to me. It reminds me that, no matter what, I have people to turn to if I need them,” Dunn said.

There are still several months until she walks the stage at graduation, but Dunn can see the future before her.

“I see a path leading into a bright world, and I can’t wait to help start building it,” Dunn said.

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