By Aubrey Moore
I was Invited to the Congress of Future medical leaders. Although the congress was sponsored by Harvard, we stayed on a college campus at University of Massachusetts Lowell. The first day consisted of a very intense experience, from getting up at 5am to travel to Boston and then ending the night awaiting the next day at around 11 pm. Arriving at the college campus was a bit intimidating at first because I have never done anything like it, but since I got there I knew it was going to be a time that changed my outlook forever. I got to stay in my own dorm room with a roommate, it was like really being in college. I was nervous about meeting people but it ended up being super easy and it is great to know people who are overachievers and have high aspirations because they understand me. Arriving at the location where the actual congress was taking place was amazing. It was in the Tsongas Center, which was huge and the amount of my fellow delegates filled the entire arena.
There were three speakers from the first night that really stood out to me. The first was Stree Bose, she is a young and esteemed woman who at the age of 17 won the first ever Google science fair in 2011. After her outstanding talk about how failures are the best way to grow and that they aren’t bad things, she left us with 3 things to remember:
1. Find things that matter to you ~ things that need fixing.
2. Find and use as many mentors as possible
3. YOU WILL FAIL ~ keep on smiling (that gives you power!)
She was very impactful and these things will stick with me for the rest of my life. Secondly, I loved experiencing a speech from Janelle Tam. She discovered anti-aging properties from an experiment with a tree, at the age of 17. The fact that she was so young when she had her calling really spoke out to me. She taught me that it is okay to have a plan for your life but it is also okay to change your plan and find a new perspective. And lastly, by far my favourite from tonight was Chris Nowinski, who was once a college football player and then a wrestler and now is completely fascinated with concussions and CTE. He didn’t give many tips for us to pursue our dreams but I was so intrigued and interested in what he was talking about that it made me consider to change my original perspective from neuroscience into possibly sports medicine and that was awesome. This proved to me that I can try things out before I completely dive into something as long I keep working and have passion and initiative. So after the first day, I knew that I would be grateful for the rest of my life for the opportunity the LBA foundation gave me when they sponsored my going to this event.
The second day was a very long day, there were 3, 3 hour increments of different speakers throughout the day. Out of the multitude of speakers that we heard from that day, there were 4 that I had major takeaways from. The first was a woman named Dr. Deborah Debor and she is a nationally recognized college admissions expert. She left me with a lot of different tips and facts on how to get into the college of my dreams. She also tore apart the four big college admissions myths. This made me understand what I needed to accomplish in the next two years to put me in a position so that I can go where I want to go. Secondly, it was so amazing when my fellow delegates and I were inducted into the society of Torch and Laurel honors society by director Steve Loflin. One of my favourite speakers overall was Florent Golberg, US Army Captain (ret.), he received the National Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. He told us about how he felt responsible for his team, whom he called his brothers and that is why he ran up to the suicide bomber and threw him. The bomber exploded at his feet and although 4 of his men were lost that day he lived and doctors found a way to completely salvage his leg. The fact that he had showed so much bravery brought me to tears but he kept thanking us because physicians were the reason he was alive and able to walk and that was astonishing to me. And lastly, a very interesting man spoke to us, his name was Larry Wester, he was the first recipient of a bionic eye. He touched us with his story of how he went blind and it made for a very difficult life. He said that when he received the bionic eye all he could see was light and it brought him to tears because “although light doesn’t seem like a big deal, when you have been in the dark for 33 years, light is fantastic.” he said. Hearing his story just made me remember that although I not only find that working medicine to be fascinating I also want to be able to help people as much as I personally can.
My final day at the congress was bitter sweet. I got to see and hear from some very intriguing people but I also knew that my experience there would shortly be over. I got to start my day with one of my absolute favourite parts of the entire congress, we watched a live surgery take place. Although, it was a hip replacement and orthopedics is not the surgical field I would like to be involved in, it was still amazing to watch an entire surgery happening right in front of my eyes. We listened to a very inspirational speaker, Bo Eason. He was a retired football player and after he hurt himself decided to use what he learned to educate other people be able to harness their inner power. At first, he used weird analogies to portray his ideas but they were actually very motivational. One of them was “out of 300,000 sperm, you won. So do not tell me you weren’t born to be a winner” he said. I found this creative and humorous and that phrase will always stick with me. He left us with 3 major tips:
1. Personal = Universal
- the more personal your story is the more people can relate and will want to listen
- use your body
- humans are predators, they were not meant to mosey around
- give all that you have all of the time
And then at the end of the night after all of the speakers, we had a huge dance and it was so awesome to interact with a group of people just like me. I still have a group of girls that I talk to from my trip because I know that I made lifetime bonds and we are all going to big things for the world. I could not have asked for a better opportunity. And I am so grateful that I was able to attend such an amazing place and have such a great experience.
About the Author
I am Aubrey Moore, a sophomore from Washington High School in
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I previously was involved in the student enrichment program, during the summer of 2015. I had such a wonderful experience with all of the kids I met throughout that week. Not only was it spectacular to see the differences and astounding similarities in culture and social norms between the exchange students and I, but it was also a great way to build friendships. To this day, I still keep in touch with many of the kids that I met. I think it is important, not just because they were amazing people, but because it is also a great resource to have connections around the world for times later in life. I would love to be a part of this program in the future because I took so much out of it and I think it was great way for two kinds of students, from complete different sides of the world to create a bond for life. That otherwise, they never would have had the chance to make any other way.