In the sixth grade, Graves County High School senior Carson Sims broke his leg while playing his favorite sport, baseball.
Little did he know at the time, it was that broken leg and the help he received as a result that would guide him toward the career path he plans on pursuing.
"I went to see an orthopedic surgeon and he took care of me," Sims said. "I really liked what he got to do. So I started getting involved in stuff like that and it really interested me."
Today, Sims is preparing to graduate high school, and has decided the right career path for him is one that will allow him to help others in the way he was helped years ago. With plans to attend the University of Kentucky in the fall to study chemistry and then go on to medical school, Sims wants to be an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports injuries.
Sims, the son of Carrie and Hans Sims, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every week in the online edition and Tuesday in the print edition, The Sun features a teen selected from nominees submitted by guidance counselors throughout the region.
Near the end of the school year, one of the students profiled will be named Teen of the Year and will receive a $5,000 scholarship. An additional student will be chosen for an Inspiration Award and receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Sims said his experience as a Healthcare Explorer at Baptist Health Paducah was an eye-opener, confirming his plans to enter the medical field and help people someday.
"We went to the Murray State Paducah Campus one day and we learned about different positions in the hospital, like respiratory care, OTs, stuff like that," Sims said. "It was a really good program for me to kind of get acclimated to careers that I could pursue and opened my eyes to different possibilities in the medical field."
Sims is a dedicated student, maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average and ranking first in a class of around 300 at Graves County High School. He is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Beta Club and Pep Club. He serves as vice president of DECA (formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America), and executive vice president of Leadership Dynamics. He is a Governor's Scholar and is on the Kentucky Commissioner's Student Council.
Sims also has been involved in a number of community and volunteer activities, including serving on the mayor's advisory board and the Graves County Teen Court Program.
He is a member of Reidland Church of Christ, is on the Graves County varsity baseball team and often assists in baseball coaching. He said he feels that each experience he's had leading others in high school has prepared him for the transition to college and his future career as a surgeon.