In June 2016, SV High School junior Vincent Cooper was selected to attend the Future Medical Leaders of America conference at the University of Lowell in Boston. Vincent, an aspiring neurosurgeon, joined others representing the next generation of medical professionals in a fact-filled multi-day immersion in this wide-ranging field of expertise.
Vincent cites as a pivotal motivation for pursuing neuroscience his friendship with Keshawn Stroman, an SV High School alumnus who has successfully battled through repeated brain surgeries. “Talking with him about his tumors and the surgeries he’s had got me really interested in the brain and fascinated with surgery,” Vincent said. Coupled with that is a passion for working with and helping children. “I want to be either a pediatrician or fetal surgeon.”
When he’s not tackling his studies at SV High, or helping others tackle theirs (he tutors some of Mrs. Lambrou’s math students), Vincent volunteers at Lourdes Hospital, and will soon begin shadowing a number of surgeons there.
Vincent has proven he has the academic chops for this demanding occupation. “I’ve doubled up in science every year since freshman year; this year taking AP Bio and Physics, last year AP Chem and Bio together to try to catch up to the accelerated students."
The Future Medical Leaders conference was by invitation only, requiring a minimum 90 grade point average and referral from a guidance counselor. Vincent’s good friend Holly Manchester was also invited to attend, but a family obligation (brother Cameron’s SV High School Commencement) precluded her from going.
Some highlights from the conference? Vincent heard from the “richest doctor in the world”, a man with a bionic eye, 2016 Google Science Fair winner Shree Bose, and got to meet and hear from Carmen Tarleton, who received the world’s first face transplant. Vincent and his peers also heard presentations from numerous medical and science professionals and got to watch a live-streamed hip replacement procedure being performed at Virginia University. “This was definitely a unique experience,” said Vincent. “We got to meet a lot of amazing people and learn a lot about the medical field.”
As for his plans post-SV, Vincent is considering George Mason University or SUNY Stonybrook. Others in the Cooper household (mom, for example) are pushing something a little close to home, like Binghamton University.