Renee Chua liked to play with a toy stethoscope, thermometer and first aid kit as a child, using a parent as a make-believe patient. She also remembers wearing her father’s doctor’s coat around, letting it drag on the floor.
So, it’s perhaps fitting that she’s planning on a pre-med track for college.
“I’ve always loved that doctors get to directly interact and work with people and I’m also interested that that career provides a lifetime of learning, so nothing’s monotonous,” Chua said.
“I’m able to improve skills, create new goals and continue staying curious, which I think is important. I’m interested in doing research — like, just the process of going down different avenues and discovering new possibilities of unanswered questions really fascinates me. I also want to make a lasting impact on any community that I’m in because knowing that I’ve helped at least one person — I feel like, will make everything worthwhile.”
The 17-year-old Paducah Tilghman High School senior has always been drawn to the sciences in school, and she particularly likes biology and chemistry.
“Experiments are interesting and I also like the scientific process of it,” she said.
Chua, daughter of Rona and Winston Chua 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 Paducah Tilghman, Chua has earned a weighted cumulative GPA above 4.44. She’s an AP Scholar and attended the Kentucky Governor’s Scholar program this past summer. Among her other activities, Chua is involved with sustainability club, plays instruments (piano and cello), serves as vice president for National Honor Society and secretary for Interact Club. She was in the orchestra as a freshman and sophomore, and was a first chair cellist.
She also co-founded a new club called “United Voices,” with her classmate, Dana Hernandez. The club meets to discuss different issues, and its goal is to help teach students about cultural issues that are prevalent today, according to Chua’s commentary for “The Tilghman Bell.”
“I’m really excited about that because I thought it was cool how we could make a passion that we both had and turn it into a reality and just share our knowledge with people,” she said, on “United Voices.”
As for the future, Chua is undecided about her college plans and she’s staying busy with senior year. She said she thinks the school administrators and teachers are doing a “really great job” with helping them get a sense of normalcy back, even though COVID-19 is still prevalent this year.
“Our principal, Ms. (Allison) Stieg, has been doing everything she can to have us have a normal senior year and everything like that,” she said. “I’m excited to just continue making the most of it and making great memories that I can’t wait to look back on.”
By: Kelly Farrell