Joel Hill, CSCS senior

Colorado Springs Christian School senior Joel Hill practiced suturing at a Harvard Medical School summer program. Photo courtesy of CSCS

High scores on the SAT college prep entrance exam led to a glimpse of what studying to be a doctor will be like for Colorado Springs Christian Schools senior Joel Hill.

The 17-year-old was invited to participate in two prestigious summer programs: the Congress of Future Medical Leaders at the University of Massachusetts and another at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

In August, Joel was accepted into the UCHealth Junior Medical School program at UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs. 

While at Harvard for nine days, Joel watched a triple-by-pass heart operation and learned about becoming a leader in the medical field.

During the surgery, “They walked us through what they were doing,” he said. “It was very interesting.”

Until then, his surgery experience had been via watching YouTube videos.

He also tried his skills with suturing, on a medical manikin.

His older sister, an oncology nurse, is the inspiration behind Joel wanting to pursue medicine after high school. His goal: to do heart transplants.

“We took care of my grandparents and that really got me interested,” he said.

Joel decided his career path in his freshman year of high school. He credits CSCS, the largest religious school in the Pikes Peak region with 900 K-12 students, for developing his “servant heart” and teaching him that the heart is the core of spirituality, love and life.

And for pushing him take challenges and excel.

As part of its curriculum, CSCS prepares students for lifelong service, said high school Principal Mason Young.

That doesn’t have to mean being a pastor or missionary, he said.

“It’s using your God-given gifts to help people,” Young said. “You can change oil and help people. It’s turning your vocation into a ministry.”

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

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