Walker hopes to turn club interest into lasting career | Tuesday’s Teen

North Hardin High School 2022 graduate Kevin Walker will be heading to Pennsylvania in August to attend Westminster College, where he’ll study biochemistry and molecular biology on the pre-med track.

His ultimate goal is to become a cardiac surgeon.

Describing himself as a “science nerd,” Walker said he really enjoys chemistry and science and always has been passionate about medicine and health care.

And he’s already gotten a head start in the field. Walker completed two health science pathways at Hardin County Schools Early College and Career Center, becoming a certified phlebotomy technician and a certified medical administration assistant.

He also has worked as a nursing assistant at James T. Alton Middle School and a phlebotomist at a local doctor’s office. Currently, before heading off to college in the fall, he’s working for the court system, testing specimens through Cornerstone Diagnostics.

“It’s great to have a wide range of jobs because you’re a kaleidoscope of everything,” he said, noting the experience boosts his resume and paid off when applying to college.

Additionally, Walker this year was president of EC3’s Health Occupations Students of America, or HOSA, club. After competing at the state competition in March, Walker along with several other Hardin County students went on to Nashville in June to compete in the International Leadership Conference where Walker took home third place in Clinical Specialty.

Walker’s event is relatively new to the competition, so he and club sponsors didn’t really know what to expect. He was tasked with presenting a health care career to judges and explaining why it fits in health care as a whole. The career he chose was family medicine.

“It went really well,” he said. “It was great to meet students that were like-minded that are wanting to do health care that are passionate about it. It was very exciting to not just compete but socialize and get to know people from all over the country.”

HOSA advisor and health science instructor April Bowman, who had Walker in class this past year, said he took his role as HOSA president very serious.

“He was always prepared and ready for any challenges that might arise. He worked hard to make everyone feel involved,” she said.

Bowman provided a statement pulled together by the five health science teachers at EC3, who described Walker as dependable, a leader, highly motivated, independent, a self-starter, someone with a heart of gold, a team player with a genuine passion for caring for others, realistic, a person who cheers others on when things get tough, honest and trustworthy.

“He will achieve his goals because he does not let obstacles get in the way,” the statement said. “We are very proud of his HOSA accomplishments at the state and international level. His success can be directly tied to his work ethic. He encountered a couple of obstacles deciding on his competitive event but did not let these discourage him. We are excited to see what his future holds.”

Walker said learning and helping people are his passions as well as sharing what he has learned through his experiences with those wanting to know.

Walker’s arrival date at Westminster College is Aug. 19 and his first day of classes is Aug. 22.

“I am just very excited to start college and to work in areas I enjoy,” he said.