Valaysia Smith, a 15-year-old Black teenager from Ouachita Parish in Monroe, Louisiana, has made history by becoming the first person from her hometown to receive the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence.
Smith was selected as a Delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders for her superior academic achievement, leadership potential, and desire to serve humanity in the field of medicine. The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists bestowed the honor.
According to blackenterprise.com, The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students interested in becoming physicians or working in medical research. Valaysia Smith, a vivacious student with a 3.9 GPA, intends to major in Biomedical Engineering in college. She wishes to attend Louisiana Tech University, Howard University, or Louisiana State University.
During the two-day conference in October 2021, the Black teen prodigy joined students from across the country to hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science Winners speak about leading medical research. She also got advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school.
Valaysia Smith witnessed stories told by patients who are living medical miracles, got inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies, and learned about cutting-edge advances and the future. Smith received college credit for attending the event in addition to her award of excellence.
According to a press release issued by The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists:
“This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially. Focused, bright and determined students like Valaysia Smith are our future and she deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give her.”
Smith possesses a variety of skills in addition to her interest in medicine. She likes to draw, read, and write, as well as act and model. She also enjoys learning new languages and playing the piano and violin.
The soon-to-be author is currently working on her debut novel, a sci-fi fantasy, while also writing a teen column for her hometown newspaper, the Monroe Free Press. Valaysia Smith has been involved in sports since she was a child and was once a member of an All-Star Cheerleading team.
For her online boutique, Unicorn Kingdom, Valaysia Smith received the Teen Business Award from the Global Power Tour for Women of Power by Women CEO Project in 2018. It sold unicorn-themed jewelry, clothing, accessories, decorations, and stuffed animals before closing due to the pandemic.
Smith’s mother, Lavandolyn Smith, is excited about her daughter’s future opportunities, which include the opportunity to study abroad in Vietnam. “I am beyond proud of her. She deserves it. It has given her even more grit to keep pushing forward on the dreams and goals that she has set for herself. We all want to be recognized for our hard work,” she said.
Malaysia Smith, whose deceased father, William B. Smith, was a United States Air Force veteran, is driven to achieve her goals. “You should always be the one holding the torch for others. I love the fact that I will be able to help others and save lives one day,” she said