Ella McBee thinks the medical field is where her future rests.
The 17-year-old McCracken County High School senior is a people person who loves science, so she views medicine as a profession that mixes the two together. She’s passionate about how things work, loves reading and gaining as much knowledge as she can.
“It’s through lab work and research that new information is made available,” she said. “And so I’ve always been on the receiving end of that, reading works, reading about what people have found. I think it would be amazing to be the one conducting that research, publishing things and figuring out why the problems are what they are and how they can potentially be fixed.”
Her interest in a medical career may not be a surprise, as McBee’s late grandfather, Dr. Michael McBee, was a surgeon.
“It just always inspired me how, one, devoted to his patients he was and then how everywhere we went people recognized him and always said that he was doing so much good and I just really liked that,” she said.
McBee is looking at several colleges for when she graduates from McCracken County, such as Harvard, Duke, Vanderbilt and Rice universities. Harvard interests her because it’s “the moon” and she applied for early action.
McBee, daughter of Todd and Eppie McBee of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Monday and Tuesday, the Paducah Sun publishes profile stories on area teens chosen from a pool of nominees for Teen of Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee will pick one student as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will be recognized with an Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
McBee is ranked 10th in her class with a cumulative weighted grade-point average above 4.3. Her highest composite ACT score is 36. She also attended the Governor’s Scholar Program at Centre College this past summer.
She’s a member of the school’s varsity academic team, while also serving as Beta Club president and taking part in student government, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. Outside of school, McBee is active in the youth praise band at Heartland Worship Center and enjoys sailing.
McBee has traveled to several states for sailing events and wants to sail during college in some capacity.
“My grandfather sailed, starting when he was a teenager, and my dad grew up sailing and so it’s kind of a family affair to get into this sport,” she said. “I’ve been sailing now, I guess, five years. Primarily, I sail two-person small boats, dinghies with my dad. We’re based out of a Nashville fleet called the Vanguard 15 Fleet 77.”
She also sails Y-Flyers, or a type of dinghy, and competed in the 2018 Y-Flyer Junior Nationals with a friend, coming in fourth place. It’s been a growing experience for McBee, who described sailing as a physically and mentally challenging sport that’s like “chess on water.”
McBee explained her favorite part is two-fold. It involves math since “everything is angles” and directions. She likes how the amount of work put into it is directly related to how well someone sails.
“If you put in 110% effort, you’re going to do that little bit better,” she said. “If you study a little bit more, you’re going to do a little bit better. If you know the conditions, you’re going to do just that tiny bit better.”
By KELLY FARRELL