Michael Vahsen '08,
Desert Vista High
If you ask Michael about his day, he might tell you about winning a track meet or tutoring a classmate. He may talk about one of his clubs, National Honor Society or S.T.A.N.D, a student coalition focused on helping genocide victims in Darfur and children of poverty in Uganda. If you ask him about his weekend, Michael might tell how he volunteered at the Salvation Army or the Roosevelt Community Technology Center in South Phoenix—a place where kids who don’t have access to computers can do their school work and find a safe haven while their parents work long hours.
If you ask him about any press that he has received, he may mention being interviewed by Jineane Ford on Channel 12’s Arizona Midday about a party he organized for the kids of Kaiser Family Center. Then again, he could always talk about recognition from the Arizona Republic in an article that brought many donations to the Kaiser Family Center.
If you ask about his future, Michael seems to have things planned out. After high school, he aspires to enroll at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, or the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Later, he would like to attend the Uniformed Services University of Health Services in Bethesda, Maryland to fulfill his dream of being a trauma doctor. Post-graduation, he plans to enlist in the US Army or Navy for a minimum of seven years to serve his country and repay his medical school costs.
Beyond his athletic and academic accomplishments, Michael Vahsen stands a teen hero for a truly commendable dedication to improving the lives of others. He will be trading in his grass-stained jersey for the uniform of a military man, eventually donning medical scrubs and latex gloves. He will define himself not by the number of games won but by the number of lives saved. No wonder everyone loves a man in uniform!
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