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Student aspires to become neurosurgeon

Jennifer Hernandez is pursuing an Associates in Arts, as well as an Associates in Science at Surry Community College and plans to transfer to UNC Chapel Hill and enroll in the pre-med track.

The Mount Airy resident then hopes to attend medical school and complete a residency to become a board-certified neurosurgeon. She just completed her third year as a student dually enrolled through the Surry Early College High School.

“Science has always been my favorite subject, and I am fascinated by the brain,” she said.

Hernandez was Surry Community College’s nominee for the Governor Robert Scott Leadership Award. Each of the 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community System nominate a student for this state award. In 2004, the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents created the Governor Robert Scott Leadership Award to recognize student leadership on a statewide level while also honoring former Gov. Bob Scott. Governor Scott served as the state’s chief executive from 1968 to 1972 and then was president of the North Carolina Community System for 12 years from 1983 to 1995. Scott passed away in January of 2009, but he was humbled that the system named a student award in his honor. This is an award designed to highlight an outstanding curriculum student in leadership and service.

At SCC, Hernandez is a college ambassador, a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She serves as the president of the SCC Chapter of the society and is responsible for connecting with the organization’s executive board members, advisors, and the student population.

“Jennifer is an outstanding student who has stuck to her goals since the day she came into the Surry Early College High School,” says Melissa D. Recknor, SCC director of advising and student success. “She asks questions, takes initiative, and is always willing to volunteer for various tasks. Jennifer is always helping her fellow students and seeking new ways to be involved on campus.”

Hernandez says her greatest accomplishment is attending the Envision Surgical Summer Camp at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, two summers ago. She said, “It was one of the most eye-opening and life changing opportunities.” During this experience, she worked on cadavers with medical students, visited the nation’s only trauma center, and met then U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Hernandez was the recipient of the Future Medical Leaders Award in 2020.



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