Evergreen Park teen doctors up her resume with activities
There are many opportunities open to high school students these days.
Rachel Torrez, who recently graduated from Evergreen Park High School, certainly didn’t miss many of them.
She was involved with color guard, varsity soccer and cross country, Snowball, student leadership, student leadership advisory board, National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, International Football Club and was captain of the varsity basketball team.
But Torrez is especially proud of her involvement with the National Student Leadership Conference.
Because of the conference, she got to attend Northwestern University last summer for its medical/health care program.
For 10 days, she experienced what it is like to be in college and experience involvement in the medical profession, complete with making clinical rounds. There, she got a sampling of practicing both Eastern and Western medicine, as well as forensic science.
The program mixed hospital rounds with a classroom setting.
“I enjoyed learning about the medical field,” Torrez said. “Before, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it. Now I know I want to go into research, and design medicine for people.”
Torrez has always enjoyed chemistry, so she’s planning on a career in biochemistry and will be attending Loyola University.
“I was thinking about pursuing chemistry, but I also like the biology aspect, so I am going to mix the two together,” said Torrez, 18.
Encouraging her along the way has been her advanced placement chemistry teacher, Kathy Augustyn.
“She is always there to answer my questions and she is a very enthusiastic teacher,” Torrez said. “She makes the class very interesting and fun.”
She also gets encouragement from her brother, Steve, 24.
“He is going into law school. He is an inspiration for how far you can get ahead if you work hard,” Torrez said.
At school, she has enjoyed color guard.
“Color guard has brought out my leadership qualities,” said Torrez, who was in color guard all four years of high school and previously with the Evergreen Park Park District. “I started when I was 10. I like the family quality of color guard. You have to work as a team and I was the captain for two years.”
Torrez, who resides in Evergreen Park, says her parents, Kathy and Greg Torrez, motivate her.
“They set a bar for me that I should reach and have high expectations,” she said.
She believes that participating in sports also contributes to her success.
“I work better under the pressure,” she said. “If I do well in school, I can do sports, so it keeps me going and (so does) my own drive to stay ahead of the pack.”