Like a lot of other graduating high school seniors, Sofia Ahsanuddin will be heading off to college this fall – with one exception.
She already has a guaranteed seat in medical school.
Ashnuddin, 17, valedictorian of Preston High School Class of 2012, will be attending Brooklyn College.
Assuming she completes undergraduate work, she will be automatically accepted into the college’s affiliated medical program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
“I won’t have to go through the application process to get into medical school,” she said. “I think I will still have to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test), but mostly just for preparation purposes.”
Ashnuddin came to the U.S. from India when she was just a month old. Her father is a business owner, her mother a homemaker.
Ashnuddin said she decided this year medical school would be the best choice for her.
“I love science and I love to help people, so what would be a better career choice for me?” she said.
Ashnuddin said she thinks studying ophthamology would be a good fit, because the gift of sight is something many people take for granted.
Besides upholding a grade point average of 100.46 because of advanced level classes, she was president of the National Honor Society, president of Amnesty International Club, and a member of the chemistry and science clubs, all while taking three buses daily to get to school from her Pelham Parkway neighborhood.
“Sofia has matured into a remarkable young woman, someone with not only an outstanding academic record and enormous intellectual potential, but also someone who evinces a passion for effecting important social change on a large, even global, scale and someone who will be a wonderful advocate for the marginalized and disenfranchised,” said Preston High School Principal Jane Grendell.
Ashnuddin participated in two summer internships: as a research analyst at the United Nations and as an issue analyst for Americans for Informed Democracy.
When she isn’t busy with school or school activities, she said she likes soccer, biking, and basketball.
“I wish I could have participated more in sports at Preston, but I found it extremely hard to balance organized sports, academics and extra-curricular activities,” she said.
Going forward, she said she will miss how less serious she took life in high school.
“High school was like having training wheels on, I could make mistakes and have the chance to do them over again. I will miss that.”
Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394