LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Brooke Smedley’s passion for helping people is evident not only as she reveals her dreams for the future but also as she talks about more immediate plans. Smedley, a senior at Moore County High School, says matter-of-factly that she eventually wants to be a cardiothoracic surgeon — a field of medicine involved in surgical treatment of organs inside the chest, treating conditions of the heart and lungs.
Smedley is the current president of the school’s HOSA organization. She is also the vice president of the Student Council, a member of the National Honor Society and an athletic trainer with the varsity football team.
Through each of those organizations, Smedley has reached out to others. And her helping hand extends to Moore County’s youth as well.
She is the Historian/Reporter in the National Honor Society, an organization she’s been a member of since her sophomore year. Part of her community service work, included the Study Buddy program at the Metro Lynchburg Library for Lynchburg Elementary School kids.
Smedley doesn’t just show up to clock in, log an hour or so, help a few students and leave. Her approach is well thought out. She says she thinks each student should be partnered with a specific tutor, or Study Buddy, not just a random partner each session.
“I feel like that when you get to know them, you really get to know the best way the student is learning. Being a tutor, I feel like working one-on-one with them, you get to understand them a little more and they trust you a little more. They will open up a little more when they are more comfortable with you. Then you can help them more … with more than just homework.”
Smedley, the daughter of Robert and Missy Smedley, is also involved in the local Angel Tree program and is looking at starting a Big Brother-type program to help kids who may be having trouble fitting in, or kids who may be bullied.
It’s obvious that none of her efforts have been thrown together in haste. She’s been an athletic trainer with the Raiders’ football team for two seasons. While she knows she’s not saving lives out on the gridiron, she’s aware that it is a first step.
“I’m just trying to get my foot in the door, even though we just really put band aids on people,” Smedley says of her work with the football team.
Smedley’s love of medicine and the medical field has grown significantly over the last four years. Her mom Missy is a nurse who helped start the school’s HOSA program. From there, Brooke’s interest in the field her mother works in began to take hold.
“My freshman year was the year she came up and started the (HOSA) program. My sophomore year I started to become interested … really decided that’s what I want to do,” Brooke says. “(Medicine) is really what I want to do with my future. Basically it’s my passion.
“Of course my mom being a nurse and hearing what she did at the hospital … that was really cool. The second thing was when I was in the hospital and had my gallbladder taken out. I thought that was really cool.”
Smedley started taking a Nursing Ed class as she works to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA). She has also started going to the Lynchburg Nursing Center, where students can begin practicing their skills in a real world situation. In October she began clinicals.
When talking about medicine, she says she’s never bored.
“Medicine is always changing, you’re always doing new things, constantly going and doing something,” says Brooke. “Of course I love to help people. I love being in that environment. And I think it’s cool to crack open someone’s chest and actually touch their heart … that and being in an environment that’s really high paced.”
As outgoing and eager to help others as Smedley is, she admits she’s a little scared to head out into the real world. She hopes to attend the University of Tennessee and then move on to medical school. The oldest of three sisters, she says she’ll miss her family, as well as MCHS and her classmates after graduation
“I’ll miss being a part of this school honestly,” she says.
She also has some advice for those just coming into the high school.
“I’d like to push students to be leaders. Start taking your ACT your sophomore year and get that first time out of the way. Do as much as you can and start looking for scholarships your junior year. Go ahead and get involved.”
—By Robert Holman, Publisher (email@example.com)
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