Austin Govero's dream of becoming a doctor took a step closer to reality recently - a big step.
Govero was granted a full scholarship to Amherst College in Amherst, Mass, which he will attend beginning this fall. The North Callaway High School senior plans to obtain his undergraduate degree at Amherst and then apply for medical school at either Harvard University or Johns Hopkins University. His goal is to work as a physician in an emergency room.
"I want to be a doctor, because it involves both the sciences and humanities ... especially in the ER, it would provide me with the great human spectacle that is life. I would get to see all the misery, excitement and joy a person would experience," Govero explained.
Govero's mother, Bonnie Govero, said her son has worked really hard, and she was excited to see it paid off in the end when Amherst announced Govero's acceptance at the beginning of December.
"I think both of our hearts fell to our knees when we read that email," Bonnie relates. "He's wanted to be a doctor since he was 8 years old."
Govero said he scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT, with a 2190 score, and that's why Questbridge National College Match program sent him an application. He applied to Questbridge and was originally hoping to land a scholarship to Harvard or Yale University. However, when he learned that Amherst has been rated several times as the number one liberal arts college in the country, he was satisfied.
"I thought it might be more prudent to attend a small liberal arts college than a major research university," Govero said.
Brian Jobe, English teacher at NCHS, has known Govero for the four years the senior's attended North Callaway, and the 18-year-old has taken some of Jobe's honors classes. Jobe said he was "elated" for Govero when he found out about the scholarship but wasn't at all shocked by the news.
"He's a student that surprised no one by scoring in the 99th percentile on the SATs," Jobe says. "He is one of the most uniquely intellectually gifted students that I've ever had."
Although Govero admits English is his best subject - he scored a perfect 800 on that section of his SAT - he's choosing a future career field that involves the sciences.
"I do enjoy science and medicine is one of the few fields where you can actually apply science in a practical manner," the senior explains.
But his teacher added another reason for Govero's choice. Jobe said his honors student is "enamored by that which he doesn't understand" and that's why the medical field is so "attractive" to Govero.
The 18-year-old from Stephens said he is looking forward to the move to Massachusetts.
"I'll be a stranger in a strange land," he said. "I'll have to make my way in the world."
Bonnie said her son will actually be closer to her, as he now lives with his grandma, Yzonne Bailey, in Stephens, while she resides in Osceola, Pa. She explained that Govero wished to stay in Callaway County so he could continue at NCHS when she moved to Pennsylvania, though he visits her about once a month.
The NCHS senior is his school's Creative Writing Club editor, president of the school's National Honor Society and an active member of the drama department.