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Gretchen Pavelich ‘19 - VCHS Alumni Physicians in the Field




From Vail Christian High School to Medical School: Gretchen Pavelich's Journey of Inspiration


As she finishes her senior year at Texas Christian University, Gretchen Pavelich (VCHS Class of 2019) stands on the precipice of an exciting new chapter in her life. With a steadfast determination and a heart brimming with ambition, she is primed and ready to graduate in December 2023 with a major in Biochemistry, setting her sights on a future in medicine. Gretchen's journey from Vail Christian High School to TCU has been a remarkable one, marked by a transformational high school experience that ignited her passion for science and set her on a path towards a career in Obstetrics/Gynecology, Cancer Research, or Orthopedics.

 

Gretchen's story begins like many others—a freshman at VCHS, filled with natural talent, curiosity, and an insatiable desire to discover her true calling. Little did she know that her high school years would shape her future in ways she could have never imagined.

 

During her early years at VCHS, Gretchen had dreams of becoming a world-class ski racer. It was a thrilling ambition that captured her heart and mind. However, the turning point came when she delved into higher-level math and advanced science courses, setting her on an unexpected trajectory.

 

Gretchen found herself captivated by the world of science and the mysteries of the human body. Two educators, Mr. Doug Bruce, who guided her through the intricacies of calculus, and Ms. Mindy Larson, who led her through the engaging PLTW – Human Body Systems course, played pivotal roles in shaping her academic journey.   

 

During an interview with Gretchen, she stated that it was the teachers and rigorous coursework at VCHS that allowed her to unlock her potential and discover her true passion for biochemistry. Beyond the classroom, she engaged in extracurricular activities and research experiences that deepened her love for science and kindled her desire to contribute to cancer research.

 

Now, as Gretchen stands on the brink of graduation, she reflects on her time at VCHS and imparts invaluable advice to current students. She emphasizes that while grades are important, a student's work ethic and the ability to utilize available resources are equally crucial. VCHS, she believes, provides a foundation that pays dividends down the road, even if those dividends may not be immediately apparent. Gretchen encourages current students to make the most of the incredible resources at their disposal, including their dedicated teachers, who are willing to provide support during breaks, after school, and even during lunch.

 

As Gretchen Pavelich prepares to step into the world of medical school, her journey from VCHS serves as a testament to the transformative power of education. Her story inspires us to seize every opportunity, cultivate our passions, and, above all, recognize the profound impact that dedicated educators and a nurturing learning environment can have on our lives.





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