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Looks Bright: Riverside senior Annie Wang completes select Ochsner research program

RESERVE — Annie Wang shoots for the stars in whatever she does, so it came as no surprise when she was invited to become a “STAR” in the months leading up to her senior year at Riverside Academy.

Annie earned 161 service hours over four weeks in June through Ochsner Health System’s Science Technology Academy Research (STAR) program, designed to expose high achieving students to medical careers.

Among 100 applicants, Annie was one of 16 accepted into the program following an interview process.

“I’m thinking of going into radiology or cardiology,” Annie said, noting her ideal college would be in the Northern United States, near her extended family.

“I just really like helping people, and seeing other people happy makes me happy.”

During the STAR program, health care professionals taught Annie medical terminology and how to analyze graphs.

Other STAR activities included identifying diabetic symptoms in patients and taking field trips to cancer research centers.

At the end of the four weeks, Annie received an embroidered white medical coat.

Annie Wang, bottom right, poses with Ochsner Health System’s Science Technology Academy Research (STAR) program members.

During the school year, however, Annie trades out the coat for sports uniforms and participation in Lady Rebels basketball and soccer.

Basketball is Annie’s favorite sport, and she’s proud of her team’s special achievement in 2017-18.

“Last year, we made school history going to the semifinals,” Annie said. “I like how the coaches push us to become hardworking individuals and create ideas for each other.”

Head coach Kevin Dizer said Annie is “a good kid with a winning attitude.”

“She shows up every day, works hard, does everything we ask her to do, and she always has a smile on her face,” Dizer said.

Annie can be found on the football field during the fall as part of the film crew that records Rebels games and practices.

Off the field, Annie is the vice president of her Riverside Academy senior class. She also holds a vice president position in political science club and participates in senior Beta Club.

Advanced classes and dual enrollment college courses contribute to her 4.71 GPA, and she is expected to have 24 college credits before stepping foot on campus.

Classmate Bryce Duhon said Annie is the quiet girl to those who don’t know her well and the kind-hearted helper to those who do.

Annie Wang, Lisbeth Jackson and Bryce Duhon are seen at Riverside.

“Once you get to know her, she’s really outgoing,” Bryce said. “She’s hardworking and very caring. If you ask her for something, she’ll always figure out a way to help you.”

Spanish teacher Lisbeth Jackson said it’s rare to find students like Annie who come as a “package deal” of positive traits, describing her as educated, well mannered and passionate about learning languages.

Annie prides herself on being bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese, with a working knowledge of Spanish. Her parents, Yong Wang and Ling Lin of LaPlace, inspire her to work hard for every success.
Annie’s mantra is, “Never give up on what you do, no matter how impossible the task can be.”