Archived Story

Dual enrollment student plans career in medicine

Published 10:55am Saturday, June 1, 2013

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Playback58@gmail.com

Armirah Stephens of Franklin gets to go to the debutante cotillion thanks in large part to help from the Lady’s of Zaki Social Club. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS
Armirah Stephens of Franklin gets to go to the debutante cotillion thanks in large part to help from the Lady’s of Zaki Social Club. — STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—In a little over a week, Armirah K. Stephens of Franklin will be among eight young ladies making their debut into society. That’s when the Lambda Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha holds its annual debutante cotillion.

In part, Stephens has the Lady’s of Zaki Social Club to thank for this opportunity.

Rugayyah Matin, club secretary and Stephens’ sister, said that in preparation for this event, the Lady’s regularly hosts a prom grant to a female junior student at Franklin High School. Normally, the applicants are required to write an essay on a topic given by the club. The winner gets a prom dress, hair and make-up, shoes and accessories provided by the organization.

When Stephens presented an application for assistance, her resumé of personal and school accomplishments apparently so impressed the membership that the club chose to go ahead and award her the grant.

As Stephens works toward graduation from high school in 2014, she’s also dually enrolled at Paul D. Camp Community College. There she’s on track to earn an associate’s degree in science. With an interest in pre-medicine, Stephens already trains as a student nurse’s aide.

All this is in keeping with her long-range goal to become what she calls a brain surgeon, also known as a neurologist.

To that ambition she credits two people. First is Erica Goodman, a nursing instructor at Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk. Second is Dr. Ben Carson, a nationally known physician of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Maryland. Stephens said she was especially inspired by Carson after learning his story.

Awards that she’s earned include the DECOS Scholarship, the Principals Award, the Honor Roll Award, both made last November, and Who’s Who Among Honor Students.

At First Baptist Church, Stephens has been a Mime Ministry leader for children and adults, a Children’s Church leader and Media Ministry member.

Her volunteer activities have included: the Saint Jude Walk for Cancer; Walk For Self Esteem; Book Mice Program, an elementary school reading program; and the Boys & Girls Club volunteer program.

Extracurricular activities have been marching band, the National Honors Society, Beta Club, DECA, Ladies of Distinction, DELTA Gems and Upward Bound.

Stephens is the daughter of Roger Stephens and Valerie Willis.

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