By George Slaughter
When she was three years old, Alyssa Vadovsky had the idea that she was going to become a doctor. The idea never left her.
Now, as the first-ever valedictorian of Aristoi Classical Academy in Katy, she will be taking a big step to turning her dream into reality.
This fall, she will be attending Michigan State University to begin her college studies. She plans to become a cardiothoracic surgeon, focusing on the heart and lungs.
“I got interested in surgery,” Vadovsky said, telling a story about how she was once involved in performing a dissection in a biology class. “I was really good at it. A teacher said I should go into surgery, so I started researching it.”
Her interest in medicine grew during frequent family visits to the hospital over the years. She said she loves the environment, even though she sees that people go there and feel sad or depressed.
Becoming a doctor requires top grades. Vadovsky’s senior thesis, for which she won an award, was about stem cells. She served as Honor Society president this year, and she has been involved with the society since her junior high school days. As an Honor Society student, she’s helped mentor other students.
Asked what advice she’d give students who want to succeed, Vadovsky said to always get your work done.
“If I ever had something due, I would make sure to get it done,” Vadovsky said. “Sometimes I’d stay up to 3 or 4 a.m. Be prepared for the assignments. Be open to learning above all else. Always be willing to be flexible and adjust to what the teacher assigns, despite any personal persuasions you might have about the subject.”
Vadovsky, the youngest of three children, isn’t moving north by herself. Her family will accompany her. Her father Eric is retired. Her mother Conny is an insurance agent who will relocate her business. Her oldest sibling, Ashley, is a former manager at Freebirds and is now in the delivery business. Her brother, Eric Jr., now works at the Galleria Mall in Houston but will be joining the East Lansing, Mich., Police Department.
Making a big family move isn’t new for the Vadovskys. They moved in 2005 from Louisiana to Texas following Hurricane Katrina.
“We’re a very close family,” Vadovsky said. “When one person does something, everyone does something.”
As for moving north to Michigan this summer, Vadovsky’s application was submitted and approved within 11 days. It was the only school to which she applied.
“We wanted something else,” Vadovsky said. “This came up as an opportunity for the whole family to move and change and grow.”