Medical school preparation program needs more funding (PHOTOS)


Rachel Simon, 14, left, poses for her father Franco, right, and a family friend following the Jan. 27 Okaloosa County SSTRIDE induction ceremony at Crestview High School.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 06:53 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Rachel Simon plans to follow her mother's example.

"My mom decided she wanted to go to medical school," the Shoal River Middle School eighth-grader said. "(Then) I started to realize that I wanted to become a surgeon."

The 14-year-old already knows her dream career path.

"I want to start as a general surgeon and eventually become a heart surgeon and practice internal medicine," she said.

Rachel's getting the experience she needs from Okaloosa County's Science Students Together Reaching Instructional Diversity and Excellence program.

Crestview High School and Davidson and Shoal River Middle Schools have offered the Florida State University College of Medicine program — which includes lab work, community service opportunities and field trips — since 2003. 

Rachel was among 62 of SSTRIDE's latest middle and high school students during a Jan. 27 ceremony.

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