As a sophomore at Steubenville High School, Alex Isla was nominated by his teacher, Derek Ziarko, to participate in LeadAmerica, a program that allows students with excellent grades to experience college-like classes over a nine-day period in the area of their choice or in an area in which they excel.
For Isla, that meant choosing the medicine program at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md., where his days were filled with college lectures, hospital rotations and lots of homework.
Isla said that his days at Johns Hopkins were some of the best days of his life, that he was amazed at the doctors who lectured his classes.
He also made friends from all over the country with whom he continues to keep in touch.
LeadAmerica, founded in 2002, works "to inspire and empower all young people to achieve their full potential and instill in them a sense of purpose, integrity, self-confidence and personal responsibility," according to its Facebook page. LeadAmerica conferences "offer outstanding students the opportunity to explore their future path and discover what inspires them the most. They gain valuable knowledge and the experience of real college life, on campus, at some of the greatest schools in the country," the Facebook page notes.
The son of Roger and Mindy Isla of Wintersville, Isla is a junior at SHS in the scholars program and is interested in attending college for engineering and hopefully attending Johns Hopkins for cardiology. He is a member of the Key Club, soccer team, swim team, tennis team and thespian society.