Paducah Tilghman High School senior Natalie Besaw took biology as a freshman and it was by far one of her favorite subjects. She’s interested in learning about the human body and wants it to “make sense” to her, such as how people work and how certain diseases affect different people.
“I think that being able to help people figure out what’s wrong with them is a big deal, because in my family, we’ve had a lot of illnesses that has taken like six doctors to figure out what’s actually going on. And, to be that person — just to be like, ‘This is what’s going on with you’ and put them on the right medicine, and actually get them help, would be nice,” she said.
The 17-year-old student is currently looking at attending the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville. She plans to major in biology, and later go on to medical school. She has an interest in becoming a radiologist.
“There was a time when I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon because the fact that you could break bones to heal someone was really interesting to me,” she added. “I think radiology is the path I’m on now, but medical school could change that with residencies and just learning about how different medicines work.”
Besaw, daughter of Tennille and Todd Rushing and Shamus Besaw, all of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Tuesday, The Sun publishes articles about area high school seniors who were chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee will name one of these students as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At Paducah Tilghman, Besaw has earned a cumulative weighted GPA that’s above 4.3. She attended the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars program this summer at Morehead State University and received AP Scholar recognition.
She’s involved with a number of school clubs and organizations, including National Honor Society, pep club, Rotary Interact Club and sustainability club. She’s been a defender on the varsity girls soccer team and served as a captain. Outside of school, Besaw has been a longtime member of the Pumas Futbol Club. She’s picked up various soccer honors, including All-District Team.
“I’ve been on a soccer team since I was 2,” she said. “My grandfather coached at Lone Oak when it was still a high school. My uncles and my aunts played. Both of my brothers played. My mom played. It’s just kind of a family thing. I chose it, but I guess it also like chose me.”
Besaw said she thinks being a captain is a lot different than just being a player, noting that teammates will follow what you do, and you have to set an example.
“Soccer season is over, but I’m still a captain to my younger teammates, like I help them with their applications and I help them with their homework and their studying — it’s not just a soccer role,” she said.
As for senior year, it’s going smoothly for Besaw and her goals are to focus on an art project she’s proud of, getting scholarships, and applying for colleges because she wants to be prepared before the end of the school year. She’s “pretty excited” about graduation and ready for the next chapter.
Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @KellyAFarrell11