Looks Bright: Local teenager will shadow Ochsner doctors

Published 12:08 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

LAPLACE — One local teenager will get the chance to acquire hands-on experience with sophisticated medical technologies this summer.

Christian Barrow

Christian Barrow

Christian Barrow, 16, just finished his sophomore year at East St. John High School. This summer, he will participate in a five-week intensive known as the Ochsner STAR Program, which provides qualified high school students a free opportunity to explore the world of health care.

“I’m really excited about shadowing different physicians,” Barrow, the son of Clarence and Lisa Barrow, said. “This is a huge opportunity to do something like this cost-free.”

Barrow said his mother will drive him to New Orleans every day so he can participate in the program, which focuses primarily on scientific research, practical medicine and leadership development.

Seventy-five students applied for the opportunity, Barrow said, and out of the 25 students who interviewed only 16 were offered the chance to participate.

“I was always looking at programs to do over the summer,” Barrow said. “When I called my mom and told her she was screaming and ecstatic.”

Barrow said he will use the summer experience as the first foundational step in his future plans for a medical career. He hopes to attend Cambridge University and study biomedical engineering with an emphasis on cybernetic prosthetics.

“I always thought it was really cool,” Barrow said about prosthetics, adding as an athlete he is always looking at ways to improve his body’s movement.

When asked what his favorite subject in school was, he said “science – all the way.”

STAR officials said “through a rigorous, hands-on summer course focusing on science, technology, academics and research, STAR aims to engage and inspire students to pursue further education and careers in science and medicine.”

Officials said as part of the program, students will conduct inquiry-based scientific experiments under the guidance of Ochsner scientists, learn about the latest advancements in medicine and health care from Ochsner physicians, nurses and administrators, develop professional and life skills and participate in stimulating and informative programs, including stress management, CPR certification and debates on current social issues impacted by science and medicine.

“Christian was a student with a very good reputation that I heard about before he entered 10th grade,” James Oubre, the head of ESJ’s science department, said. “Christian has great qualities as a person and a student.”

Barrow has participated in Beta Club, the Louisiana Technology Student’s Association, cross-country, track and soccer at ESJ. He is a student at Sibleys’ Tiger-Rock Academy.

At the end of his freshman year, Barrow joined the Boys Scouts and said he is working hard and on track to earn Eagle Scout.

His plans for his Eagle Project are to expound upon his 8th grade science fair project, where he studied how different plants can be used to cleanse pollutants in the air.

He hopes to distribute plants to libraries, parks and ESJ’s new school building, he said, with plaques that would explain the purpose of the plant in an effort to educate others.