Student Spotlight: Isaac Choi
Meet Isaac Choi, an incoming junior at Oregon Charter Academy and a participant in the 2021-22 Youth Impact Council. As a member of the PWA Youth Impact Council, Isaac helped plan the 2022 NW Youth Careers Expo and participated in leadership and skills development. Isaac also received mentorship in his career field of interest – dentistry — and was connected to two dentists in the community who offered him shadowing opportunities and career advice.
Read more about Isaac’s career interests, his involvement in the Youth Impact Council, and what’s coming next for him.
Tell me about yourself:
“I would describe myself as an observer. Rather than explaining or taking the stage, I like to listen and inspect my surroundings carefully. My interests include soccer, fencing, and volunteering. I hope to attend a U.S. Service Academy – such as the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, or Military Academy – after high school. I try to widen the variety of extracurricular activities I participate in by volunteering for the Red Cross, Every Body Athletics, and Kaiser Permanente Westside; I also run an organization called Good DeEds.”
That’s awesome! Can you tell me more about Good Deeds?
“Good DeEds is a free tutoring organization run completely by high school students, and we tutor kids in grades 3-8 in all kinds of subjects. My sister Grace and I created it together to provide a 100% free and virtual learning experience to younger students who may need some support in school subjects. Through Good DeEds, I fostered a deeper connection to the act of supporting others in my community.”
Why did you decide to join the Youth Impact Council this past year and what was your favorite part?
“My school introduced me to the opportunity, and I decided to get involved in order to gain more leadership experience. My favorite part of the program was the mock interviews. I was able to experience the real setting of a job interview and receive helpful feedback from my mentor.”
What skills did you gain from the program that you will take with you going forward?
“I look forward to bringing my developing leadership, interview, conversational, and resume skills. They'll definitely help me out in later years when I have to do job interviews; I'll also take away the knowledge and advice that was given by all the guest speakers and the mentors over all the sessions of the Youth Impact Council.”
What was it like getting to work with other students who were part of the council?
“It was an exciting and new opportunity because I previously only worked individually or in small groups, but I think it was an excellent experience because it showed me how collaboration works and how collaboration is also a part of leadership. To be a good leader, it would be hard to work by myself or do everything by myself so having that support helps people reach their full potential and leadership.”
What was it like being connected to a mentor in your field of interest?
“My career interests are in the dentistry field, and my goal is to start my own practice later. Through the Youth Impact Council, I developed my goals by meeting mentors in dentistry; this allowed me to gain more insight into the career with opportunities in shadowing these dentists.”
What was it like to get to shadow dentists in-person and what did you learn from the experience?
“I learned that being a dentist requires leadership, communication, and social skills. Without those skills, I don’t think dentists will be able to properly communicate with their patients. Even though I’ve been [to the dentist], it's quite different from shadowing. This perspective is different from being in the patient's perspective since you're seeing what the dentist does.”
What made you interested in dentistry as a career?
“My dad inspired me to consider dentistry as a career. He was studying to become a dentist but could not complete his studies. Also, I believe that teeth are quite important for the body because they're important for nutrition and functioning. Confidence in a good smile can result from proper dental care.”
What are you most excited about this upcoming school year?
“I'm looking forward to volunteering and developing my leadership as much as I can. I am also exploring more in the field of dentistry because I'm pretty committed to pursuing it. With new knowledge and experience, I will be able to serve my community to the fullest and become a valuable asset anytime.”