Honor Student Nominated to Congress of Future Medical Leaders

Posted on: 12/18/2018


Dual Enrollment Honor Student Kylie Munson Nominated to Congress of Future Medical Leaders

At just 13 years old, Los Angeles Mission College dual enrollment student Kylie Munson will be a Delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Lowell, Massachusetts next summer.

The honors-only program convenes the top high school students from across the United States who want to become doctors and medical researchers. For three days, she will hear from Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science winners, and deans from the top medical schools in the country.

“This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, executive director for the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, which hosts the annual Congress. “Focused, bright and determined students like Kylie are our future.”

According to her nomination letter, which was signed by Mario Capecchi, PhD, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology, Kylie was nominated because of her academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

Her mom, Rachel Munson, says Kylie has always wanted to become a doctor.

“She is very determined, dedicated, and focused,” Mrs. Munson said. “I feel when she sets her mind to something, she does not get distracted.”

That determination is part of the reason Kylie will graduate from L.A. Mission College with an associate degree in the spring at just 13 years old. She will also graduate from Sage Oak High School at the top of her class with a 4.89 grade point average. And she is part of a cheer team that competes internationally and won the Cheerleading and Dance World Championship last year.

So how does she do it?

“Some of my habits I live by are always make a schedule of due dates, attending my professors’ office hours, and printing my class syllabus and checking off each required assignment,” Kylie said. “This way, I can plan ahead for assignments and cheer practice so I know exactly what I need to focus on during my free time.”

She says that it was not difficult to attend both high school and college simultaneously, but cheering competitively for a well-known team required a commitment of 20-25 hours per week, so she had to learn to balance academics and cheer.

“It was very challenging at times, but I developed great time management skills,” Kylie said.

She began attending Mission to gain credit for college while attending high school. Now that it’s time to transfer to a four-year university, she feels prepared and knows what’s expected and necessary to succeed.

“On my first visit to Mission I met Dean (Darlene) Montes, who was so welcoming and helpful,” Kylie said. “She not only answered any questions I had, but made herself available for me no matter what I needed.”

Dean Darlene Montes remembers meeting Kylie when she first enrolled.

“I asked her about her area of study at the time,” Montes said. “Without hesitation she answered, ‘I want to be a doctor’. She was eleven.”

Kylie spent a lot of time in the tutoring labs. Whether she was studying for math, writing, chemistry, or biology, she said the tutors were always helpful.

She was 11 years old when she took Professor Karen Crozer’s English class. Dr. Crozer was impressed with her work ethic and humility.

“I think she’s a hard worker,” Dr. Crozer said. “She wasn’t worried about what was normal for 11 (years old), she’s gone after what’s worked for her … She’s really driven.”

Kylie excelled in the class and displayed the maturity of an older student. She even helped her older classmates with their work.

“Students seemed pleasantly surprised to have such a young student in the classroom, but she had pretty normal interactions and students were happy to work with her,” Dr. Crozer said.

Mrs. Munson is confident that her daughter will continue to excel.

“With her sights set on improving the medical field, I have no doubt she will accomplish her goals in the same fashion. As her parent, I am here to encourage and support all of her dreams.”

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