"When I was little, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up," she said. "Saying, 'I want to be an obstetrician,' doesn't really come out of a 4-year-old very often."
The Community Christian Academy senior is following that dream all the way to the University of Kentucky. She'll enter the pre-med program, and she aspires to attend Vanderbilt University medical school afterward. Clark's dream has dictated most of her decisions in high school.
As student council president, varsity cheerleading captain and secretary for a girls service organization, Clark is very comfortable as a leader. It will set her apart as she applies to very competitive programs.
Shelby Clark, daughter of Kerry and Donna Clark, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees who high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners and will receive a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University, currently valued at up to $55,000, or a cash reward of $2,500 paid through the Paducah Sun if the student selects another college to attend.
Clark's main role model in her quest to become an OB/GYN is her aunt, Dr. Kelly Clark of Lexington. Clark has shadowed her aunt over the years. She loves helping people, and she loves babies. The choice made a lot of sense to her.
Though she's promoted a clear goal, Clark hasn't pigeon-holed herself. She plays tennis, spends hours practicing her cheer routines, plays first chair trumpet and has kept a 4.0 grade point average through all of it. Her day planner is one of Clark's most prize possessions, so much so that it's become a running joke between her friends.
As she moves on to a new chapter of life, Clark hopes to stay involved in school. She's interested in sororities and student government. She's enjoyed her time as student council president, and she wants to be an integral part of her educational institution.
Call Rebecca Feldhaus, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651.