Her family has not only been a major influence on her choice to stay in northern Nevada, but also in her pursuit of higher education. She said surrounding herself with positive influences while in high school has set her up to achieve major goals.
“My teachers, counselors and mom and dad have been pushing me to work hard in school and get good grades so I can push toward the job I want and be successful in life. That has been most important to me,” Artis said. “Having everybody push me and tell me I am doing well in school has helped me a lot.”
Artis said she plans to apply to the University of Nevada, Reno and hopes to enter medical school there as well. She said the level of UNR’s medical program has her excited to join the school, and said other schools’ pricing options make her want to stay local.
“I am really close with my family and all of my family lives here. I think it is going to be cheapest for me to live and study here. Maybe after med school I can move somewhere else,” she said.
Artis said she dreams of studying Plastic Surgery when she enters the medical field, which will draw on her frequent visits to the doctor throughout her life for a pigment condition. Of course dramatic medical television shows played a small role in that decision as well.
“I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy and I have had problems with my arm pigmentation so I have seen a lot of doctors in my life,” Artis said. “I like to learn and see all the new things and I love the biology part of school so it is a good fit for me. I think reconstructive surgery, or plastics, would be great because I think what they do is so cool and interesting. I could find myself doing that.”
Artis is keeping herself busy in the time until graduation loading her schedule with four Advanced Placement classes, community service projects for National Honor Society and a part-time job at a local pet store. Artis, a former soccer player at Reed, said she has foregone her athletic career to maintain the hours of her job.
“It’s hard to juggle it all, but I manage it. I just have to manage my time mostly,” she said. “I am very overwhelmed this year, but I am trying to get through it. I am taking a lot of hard classes so I have a lot of homework, and I work right after school so I work until seven and then go straight to homework.”
Though she works hard to remain focused, Artis said she manages much of her stress with small breaks between homework assignments.
“I always try to talk to my friends or my parents about what is going on and how I am feeling about school,” she said. “I can sort of get my mind off of school and let it go for a few minutes and then come back to it with a fresh start.”