Student of the Month: Science and singing are Smith's passions

Aug. 12, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

LaPrince-Miller Leigh Smith, the daughter of Reginald and Lisa Smith, is heading into her senior year at Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School on N.C. Central University’s campus. Maintaining an A-A/B average throughout school while participating in several outside activities indicates how well she can multitask.

She spent this summer as an intern with the Durham Public Schools/NCCU Scientifica Summer program at NCCU’s Department of Biology, researching pancreatic and colorectal cancer cells.
“I’m very hands-on when it comes to the sciences,” she said.
Having narrowed her possible colleges to NCCU, Bennett College or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Smith said that she plans to double major is biotechnology and music before heading off to medical school with the goals of becoming a surgeon and a professional singing.
While the two majors are not related to one another, they are part of what makes Smith who she is.
“Since science is so serious I have to do something that’s an outlet for me. It’s been a joy for me to perform with others and to do solos. I just love the rush of show business. And if I did one or the other, it wouldn’t be me.”
Smith’s time at JDC Early College has had an impact on how she views attending college and her personal development.
“The fact that we get the opportunity to experience the freedom but the responsibility and maturity, it humbles us. It makes us more mature. I don’t fear going to college. I look forward to it because my time here has shaped me to become a leader.”
The decision to attend the early college rather than a traditional high school was not a tough decision for Smith to make.
“I read up about it, that a lot of students get the opportunity to start taking college classes as a sophomore,” she explained. “So when I started looking at a school, I said why not go to one that will put me two years ahead of other college students.”
Along with the educational opportunities, Smith said that her time in high school has been rewarding in other ways.
“I love the new experiences. I love the new beginnings because this is really our last hoorah. This is the time to apply yourself to extracurricular activities and those things that will up your resume and get you prepared for college.”
Smith has a few words of wisdom to share for incoming freshmen.
“When you get to high school, hit the ground running, always be organized,” she said. “Be keen on time management, being organized and stay one step ahead of the teacher.”

Student of the Month: LaPrince-Miller L. Smith

Age: 16

GPA: 3.5

School: J.D. Clement Early College High School

Awards: SMASSS Regional and National Competition oratorical and experiment winner; Girl Scouts of America Ambassador for Troop #021; and Junior Leadership Vocal Winner, 1st place on the state level and 2nd on the local level.

School activities: President of the Junior Class, SGA president, and a debutante in the 2013 Debutante Cotillion sponsored by the Alpha Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Hobbies: Singing classical music and jazz, shopping, research, playing the piano, dancing, outdoor activities and arts and crafts.