Ethan Roberts is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week


McCracken County High School soccer player Ethan Roberts has his heart set on a future career in medicine, helping children and families.

He plans to pursue an engineering degree after high school, preferably either chemical or mechanical engineering, and then go on to attend medical school. He’s interested in becoming a pediatric oncologist, and spent time last year shadowing a pediatric oncologist in North Carolina.

“I really want to be able to work with little kids, and still be challenged and pushed everyday with different complex tasks, and I think that this a way that I can use the skills that I’ve been given to the best of my abilities,” Roberts added.

The 17-year-old senior wants to return to Paducah after getting his postsecondary education. He’s still undecided on what college to attend.
“I have, for the past five years, been a member of the Medical Explorers program at Baptist Health and they have shown me all the opportunities that you can take, or that you can be given, coming from Paducah — going out and getting a high quality education, and coming back to give back to your community,” Roberts said.

“It’s become really important to me that eventually, one day, I come back and share what I’ve learned with the people who have given me these opportunities to get that high level education.”

He also noted that Norton Children’s Hospital (formerly Kosair) is in Louisville and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is in Memphis, Tennessee, and both hospitals are several hours away.

“That’s hard on a lot of families from around here,” he said.

“If your child is sick, it’s a full day there. Family members can’t go visit, so it’s really hard, and I want to be able to bring this career back to Paducah. That way, instead of it being a three hour drive, it’s at max a 45-minute drive for anywhere in this region.”

Roberts, son of Brandy Roberts and Eric Roberts of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Tuesday, The Sun publishes articles on area high school seniors who were chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee will name one of these students as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.

At McCracken County, Roberts has earned a 4.2 weighted cumulative GPA. He’s an AP Scholar with Distinction and attended the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars program at Centre College this past summer. He’s also been recognized as a National Merit Commended Scholar.

Roberts served as captain for the Mustangs varsity soccer team, and is involved in several other school clubs and activities, such as National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

He said soccer and other sports “captivate” him. In playing soccer, Roberts fondly recalled the Mustangs’ victorious penalty shootout against Marshall County in the October regional final to claim the title again.

“Being a captain, I’ve learned that leadership isn’t always yelling at someone and telling them what to do,” he said, on the leadership role. “You’ve got to realize that each person has their own way of receiving instructions and you’ve got to measure that quality.”

With senior year halfway over, Roberts is looking forward to college and he noted the idea of graduating is a “little surreal” at this point.

“It honestly doesn’t feel like we’re supposed to be graduating yet. (With) COVID last year, and we started to pick up a little bit of COVID this year — it still feels like I should be in the middle of my high school career, and yet it’s four months away, if that,” he said.

“I’m trying not to think about it too much because I’m trying to live life to the fullest right now. That way, I don’t have any regrets later on.”

By: Kelly Farrell