WSJ senior Aaliyah Bailey eyes healthcare career

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 2, 2019

LAPLACE —West St. John High School senior Aaliyah Bailey is well prepared to pursue a career in medicine. Over the summer, she totaled more than 160 hours of healthcare education and experience through the Ochsner STAR Program.

During the four-week program, Bailey interacted with research scientists, laboratory assistants, medical school students and residents, and clinical and non-clinical employees.

Bailey has known she wants to pursue a health career since the beginning of middle school, and her experience within the hospital lived up to every expectation.

“They give you insight on the whole hospital and hands-on experience so you can see what it’s like to work there,” Bailey said. “They explain there are many jobs in the hospital, and all of them are important.”

The Flight Care Team was one area that piqued her interest. Dedicated to the safe transport of critically ill or injured patients, the Flight Care Team is a 24/7 service that responds within 275 miles of the hospital.

Bailey also enjoyed learning how medical staff utilizes technology.

“The surgeons work with million dollar machines for surgery where they are not actually touching the person or over the person,” Bailey said. “They are working a machine from way across the room. It was so fun to see that.”

After graduation, Bailey hopes to attend Xavier University and establish a career as a pediatric oncologist. She enjoys working with children because their innocence is a ray of light in even the most difficult situations.

As an honor roll student with a 3.7 GPA, Bailey knows what it takes to be successful. To her, being a good student means having focus and leadership qualities.

She is a great teammate on West St. John’s cheerleading squad, which involves more than choreographing routines.

“As cheerleaders, we organize a lot of the pep rally events,” Bailey said. “It’s always fun getting everybody together.”

Bailey also played volleyball for West St. John for three of her high school years. Outside of school, she makes money babysitting and styling hair for family and friends.

“I’m a go-getter,” Bailey said. “I work hard for things I want, and I’m persistent.”

Her classmate Tierny Sterling said Bailey is very stubborn — in a good way.

“When she wants something, she’s going to get it,” Sterling said. “She’s going to work hard for it. If she feels like something is wrong, she will bring it up.”

Bailey was recently picked by peers to represent her school as Miss West St. John on the 2019 Homecoming Court.

When she is older with an established career, Bailey wants to return to Edgard to improve her school and community.

“I want to come back,” Bailey said. “I see a lot of problems now that I can’t help with at this age.”

One of her goals is to breathe life back into empty or abandoned buildings by repurposing them for daily use.

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