For Kristina Michel of Royal Palm Beach Community High School, being a student in the school’s medical academy carries an extra special meaning.
Diagnosed with retinoblastoma at the age of 3, Kristina underwent surgery to remove her right eye. As she must continuously undergo check-ups to ensure the cancer doesn’t return in her other eye, she understands the importance and significance of quality medical care.
“Having retinoblastoma has given me a sense of empathy, because it helps me see from different perspectives,” she shares.
In addition to her success in the medical academy, Kristina serves as the president of My Fair Ladies, a women’s empowerment and community service club at the school.
“I think it’s important that girls have role models because, if you’re a female, you don’t have to just be in magazines or in movies – you can be a doctor, you can be a teacher, you can be whatever you want to be,” she says.
Kristina is mentored by medical academy instructor Janet Fabra, a person she calls her best friend. The feeling of admiration is mutual for Ms. Fabra. “I can see her being a physician,” she says of Kristina. “Whatever her dreams are, she’ll conquer it.”