Selchia Cain wants to be a physician -- a healer. And for the past two years she's been getting a great opportunity to see the health care field up close and personal, as a nurse's assistant in the office of her own doctor, Baby and Child Associates clinic in south Kansas City.
"The little babies come in and I do their vitals and I weigh them and I do their temperatures," says Selchia. "And it's just a really awesome experience. And I've learned so much. Just people skills. Which is something a lot of people look past when you say you want to be a physician."
As Selchia's career goal took shape it coincided with a special interest she developed in the many health challenges faced by her peers, including her many friends at Archbishop O'Hara High School where she was a peer mentor for special education students and a student ambassador promoting the school to the community.
"She cares very much about her close friends and family around her," says friend and fellow student ambassador Daniel Adams. "They mean the world to her and she never lets you down. If she says she's going to be there for you, she will be."
"Selchia impressed me from the very first moment we met," says Ann Julich, O'Hara's admissions director. "Her heart is just overflowing with a lot of passion. When I watched her with other students, she's really a good listener. And I think to be a healer, you need to first of all listen to your patients. And so, in that, she'll do a really good job."
As Selchia got keenly focused on the health and well-being of teenagers and children, she became a strong advocate and started getting out important information.
"Because all we hear about between the ages of 13 and 18 is sexual health," says Selchia. "Adults don't tend to expand and broaden the horizon to other health issues. So I said, well, maybe from my own perspective, being a peer myself, they would listen to what I have to say."
Especially since Selchia is a very talented young journalist. Through her high school years she churned out article after article iTeenKC magazine on teen health issues ranging from obesity, her first subject, to vaccination needs, allergies and much more -- an amazing 32 articles in all.
"It's really a powerful impact and I'm blessed I can do that and that people can read it and be educated and that I've been placed in a position where I can do that," says Selchia. Her extraordinary output as a crusading journalist and her personal campaign to help teenagers get and stay healthy impressed the judges for the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program which recognizes outstanding contributions by young people to the community. Selchia was one of the ten national winners this past year and got a $10,000 college scholarship.
"There are so many people doing so many awesome things and I didn't really think I'd stand out," says Selchia. "But just to have that to show that even here locally the smallest passion you can turn into something and it can be great."
She'll use that big scholarship, and the many others she has earned, to begin her college studies at Hampton University in Virginia to become a doctor -- a healer who will also be a journalist -- to keep raising awareness and educating people about their health needs.
Kohl's also made a $1,000 donation to a charity of Selchia's choice as part of her national honor. Selchia selected the Urban League of Greater Kansas City's ACT Prep Program to help other young people prepare for that important college admissions exam.
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