STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Camila Gonzalez;The future of medicine


Corrine Capino, Reporter

It’s 6:30 a.m. on a school day, the sound of the alarm vibrates the desk and as Camila hears it…. Her immediate thoughts were “what time is it” and “am I late for school.” She has a big day ahead of her, but what does she do? Snooze button. Camila Gonzalez (Junior at Urbana High School) says her worst habit is hitting the snooze button no matter how late she might end up being. “I think it’s better to be late and awake rather than on time and not present” she says. She finally accepts it and gets out of bed ready for the long day awaiting her.
Everyday Camila wakes up and goes to her ctc program for half the school day then goes to school the other half of the day. Once she arrives home she has to find time in the evening to shower, eat, do homework, and get to her sport; cheerleading. For Camila she loves the experience of getting to learn and her CTC biomedical science program. “I like that it challenges me and offers me an opportunity to learn more than what I would be learning other than the classes that are offered at Urbana like biology 101 or AP bio”, Camila says. The work at ctc she values deeply and goes on to state that it’s more “hands on work” and much more stimulating this way. With this program she enjoys the fact that they really have the time to go over topics slowly to fully grasp what they are learning.
Experiences will forever change who we are as a person, our experiences define us. A life altering experience for Camila was her diagnosis of ADHD and an encounter with a homeless woman. As a child she knew that she was different by the way she acted around people and approached things, the way she could never focus completely, trouble sleeping, and the fact that she couldn’t really articulate her words or feelings well. Due to this Camila felt different from everyone else and she had come to a loss until one day in 3rd grade; the diagnosis. Camila received a diagnosis of ADHD and she stated “After finding out my diagnosis everything kind of shifted into place and there was a reason and explanation for everything and I no longer had to hide from it.”
As per usual Camila was hanging out with her friends which she enjoys doing in her free time. It was the summer time and it was a beautiful and bright day, Camila wasn’t aware of the circumstances that would have approached her that day. She went into Mcdonalds while visiting California for a few minutes and next to her was a homeless woman. It was apparent that she wasn’t in the best mental state and was mumbling about how because of covid she has lost her husband, her kids, her car, and her home. The homeless lady angry and frustrated decided to approach her and her friends, she began calling them racial slurs and saying how it was their fault that these bad things were happening to her and said they were judging her when they most certainly weren’t. Camila states that she felt uncomfortable at first as the women were looking for a reaction from them, shortly after she didn’t feel pity for the women she felt compassion. She went up to the lady and said “I hope things work out for you.” Camila says she meant it sincerely because she truly wasn’t okay and she did want things to work out for that lady in the long run. After this Camila noticed that there was a complete shift in the women’s attitude and she was immediately left with an apology and kind words such as “you guys are so sweet” and “god bless you”. After this encounter Camila really feels as this has changed her perspective and the ways she sees things now.
Gonzalez is hopeful for a life altering or perspective changing moment. “I feel that those tend to be the most important for me and I think it inspires some type of personal growth and reflection, and I feel everyone needs one of those from time to time”, Camila states. Camila has experienced one of these moments a year ago and says she is excited to see what the next one holds.
Camila is most inspired by the women in her family. Every single woman on her mothers side of the family has had their doctor’s degree. “It started with my great grandparents, my great grandfather was progressive for his time” says Camila. She goes on to state that her great grandfather wanted both of their girls to get the proper schooling and went through to college and they obtained doctor degrees and they happen to be very respected in their fields. They are very intelligent and have scientific minds and this inspires her to do the same, So she is! Camila Gonzalez is very brilliant for our age and her dream college happens to be UCLA, she recently over the summer time got the opportunity to experience a program on the UCLA campus in which she received an invitation and sponsor for, In this program she got to step into the shoes of a physician and gained hands-on experiences for multiple different medical procedures. They learned through simulation, observations, and hands-on training. She stated that it was a great opportunity and she made some great friends while she was there so if she decides to go to college there she will have some familiar faces. She might get an opportunity to attend a conference which is sponsored by Harvard University.
In 10 years from now Gonzalez imagines herself either at a research facility for biomedical sciences in relation to human health or in a hospital or clinical setting working hand in hand with patients. She hopes to live a happy and healthy life with the right people surrounding her using not only her incredible book smart knowledge but the knowledge from the things she has experienced to make her the best version of herself.

2023 Biomedical Science Careers Student Conference | BSCP. Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.
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“Envision by WorldStrides – National Youth Leadership Forum: Medicine at UCLA.” TeenLife, Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.