Originally published in Post Register – April 25, 2018
Briar Morrow hopes her volunteer work at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center will help her with her dream of becoming a doctor.
The 16-year-old Idaho Falls girl started to volunteer at the hospital late last summer. She spends much of her time at the information desk answering phones, and when she isn’t there, she’s often escorting patients around the hospital or cleaning the waiting rooms on the second floor. Morrow also became the secretary for EIRMC’s Auxiliary Board a few months ago.
Morrow, who is now enrolled in 10th grade in the Idaho Virtual Academy, has been interested in going into medicine for the past several years. “She just always likes to help anyone with anything,” said her mother, Jill Kidman, adding that her daughter wants to stop to help if they’re driving and see a stray dog.
“I do love to help people,” Morrow said.
And, Morrow said, she likes how medicine is an ever- evolving field, where we will never know everything we’re going to know. “Just kind of everything about it interests me,” she said. “And I love science and I’ve always been good at it.” Morrow is leaning toward becoming an obstetrician or gynecologist now, although she is also considering pediatrics. Her volunteer work, she said, will help her to get a feel for what working in a hospital is like, calling it “a great way to get experience while you’re still in high school.”
Morrow enrolled in the Idaho Virtual Academy in seventh grade. One of the reasons, she said, was because she had issues with social anxiety when she was younger. Since then, she said, she has befriended some of her fellow online students, having conversations with them in the “chatbox” — Morrow said it’s “like Skype but without the video” — that accompanies the online classes.
“Online school, it really helped me settle in and become more independent,” she said. And she has grown to like other aspects of it and turn them to their advantage. “For one, you definitely have a lot more flexibility in your schedule,” Morrow said.
Because the Auxiliary Board meetings are during the day, her flexibility has made her current volunteering schedule possible. She also likes being able to take more or less time on a subject as needed. She has been taking extra courses every semester since the summer before eighth grade, aiming to finish her high school requirements early and graduate from high school with the equivalent of an associate degree.
Morrow’s volunteer schedule varies. She had to scale it back a bit recently because she is learning how to drive and because, now that it’s spring, she has returned to her part-time job at Town & Country Gardens.
“There are not enough hours in the day,” she said.
To learn more about Idaho Virtual Academy, visit https://idva.k12.com/.