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Curiosity fuels the scientist
by Garrett Valenzuela
Mar 20, 2013 | 1879 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Spanish Springs High School senior Jonathan Medina
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Spanish Springs High School senior Jonathan Medina
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SPARKS — Every young child has been the pest who tugs at a parent’s pant leg and continually looks for clarification, ultimately ending in the child repeating the word ‘why’ after any explanation is given.

Jonathan Medina was that child, constantly looking to satisfy his curiosity by digging further and further into anything considered his subject. The insatiable need for explanation eventually developed into Medina’s love for science, a desire he is actively quenching in his senior year at Spanish Springs High School.

“I am a really rational person,” Medina said. “Even as a kid I always liked to dissect things, things I see, and understand it. My mom had to raise me as a single mother and she would always try to make sure I understood things, so as a child my curiosity knew no bounds. One of the best things for a curious person is science because science is literally the explanation of what you see. I have always loved science.”

Medina said his focus has always been on his school work and it has led him to largely Advanced Placement class schedule he works through today. Through academic-centric clubs, such as the Academic Olympic team, Medina said he has spent enough time with his nose in complex calculus books to know he may be lacking in another area.

“I would like to try to get a little more experience because ever since I was little, my mom wanted me to better myself so she has always put me in schools that are higher level and tried to get me to get focused on my work,” Medina said. “But because of that, I have noticed my real-world experience is sort of lacking, and the way the economy is today, you need a lot of schooling but you need a lot of experience as well.

“I would like to try to do whatever I can to put me in situations where I learn more, not just intelligence and school work, but real-world experience. I would like to get some more hands-on experience in the fields I would to enter later in life.”

Medina plans to study a mixture of biochemistry and medical science when he enters college later this year in hopes of becoming a medical scientist. He said, acknowledging the amount of schooling his goal entails, his desire to help others fuses with his passion for science at the “happy medium” of becoming a medical scientist.

“Ever since I was a kid, I have enjoyed science a lot, and then I really I like helping people,” he said. “So medical science seems to be the happy medium. I will be helping to develop new medicine, studying new diseases that pop up and be able to help everyone’s lives be easier.”

Medina has applied to four top-notch schools around the country, hoping to find the best institution to study medicine among Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Columbia. After completing several interviews with the various schools, he is hopeful to hear from them soon, but he said the bevy of high-ranking applicants means “it is often the little things that sets you apart.”

In the time leading up to his future college plans, Medina keeps busy in the Spanish Springs High School orchestra, playing first chair violin. Currently, he is working with the school’s theater department in preparation of the Legally Blonde musical where he will join a smaller orchestra to play during the performance.

Medina is also actively involved at Summit Christian Church which allowed him the chance to travel to Kenya last year. He said the trip was “life-changing” and was a major component to him defining his career path. He said, contrary to outside opinion, his faith is not lessened the further he delves into science.

“I find it easy to correlate the two and make connections, while other people say ‘if you are a scientist you can believe that,’” Medina said. “To me it makes sense to try to follow it because I find that science leads to God’s will. Everything, so far, that I have studied makes sense.”
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