Ian Leatherman wants to help people and believes medicine is a great way to do it.
The 18-year-old McCracken County High School senior was originally "pretty dead set" on becoming a doctor, but he's now looking into the hospital administration or sales aspects of medicine. His interest dates back to freshman year, when he began the Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science Program. It helped spark an interest in the medical field.
"I love meeting new people and talking to people, so being something in the medical field is important to me," Leatherman said. "I think I just like being able to able to help people. I think it's one of the best areas to do that. I've always been interested in how that works, hospitals in general."
The study of anatomy is also a draw for him.
"The human body fascinates me in how it works, getting to know how it works and being able to fix certain things in humans that have a major impact," he said. "That's really interesting. I also really like the face to face. I've shadowed a few doctors and I love the aspect of being able to have personal connections with their patients, so that's also one of the major things that would attract me to being a doctor ..."
Leatherman, son of Jessica Stowe of Paducah and Troy Leatherman of Reidland, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes profile stories on area high school seniors chosen from a pool of nominees for Teen of the Week consideration. Near the end of the year, a selection committee picks one of these students for Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive an Inspiration Award and $1,000 scholarship.
Leatherman's academic efforts earned him a weighted cumulative GPA above 4.3 and an unweighted 4.0 GPA. He's an AP Scholar and earned a composite 30 ACT score. He also attended the Governor's Scholars Program, studying the health care industry.
He's involved in Pep Club, National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Beta Club, HOSA and the PLTW Biomedical Science Program. He played Mustangs varsity soccer for four years and also served as captain. He also earned Most Improved and Most Valuable Player honors at MCHS, in addition to All-District, All-Region, All-Purchase and All-State West Second Team honors.
Leatherman has played soccer for most of his life, starting quite young. His main position is in the midfield.
"It's been like a major thing my whole life," he said. "One of the main things I think soccer brought out of me was my competitiveness, my willingness to win, and also like just being able to work with other people and communicate."
Senior year is already halfway over, but Leatherman is staying busy and making sure to soak it all in.
He describes senior year as being stressful, with AP classes, college courses and the biomedical program, along with scholarships and applications.
"I've had to work pretty hard, but other than that, I'm enjoying every second of it, making sure to go to as many games as possible," he said. "Cherish the people that I've been around these four years."
He's currently undecided on a major, but narrowed down his top three college choices as University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Murray State University.
By: Kelly Farrell