People who know Palmetto High School senior Rachel Lynam say she is most definitely a “positive person.” She always looks on the bright side and sees life’s challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
“When things are tough, I rise above them,” said Lynam. “This philosophy has shaped who I am today.”
Like so many, Lynam’s life has been touched by cancer and she has lost loved ones to the disease. To honor her family members, Lynam has volunteered at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Through volunteer work in her school clubs, Lynam focuses on keeping people healthy. She serves as vice president of Leo Club – a service organization affiliated with the Lions Club. The Leo Club meets once each month and the club’s main focus at Palmetto is to organize and manage the school’s blood drives. Lynam and other club members recruit and register blood drive participants, serve pizza and snacks to volunteers and donors, and send thank you notes and treats to deserving participants.
“I’ve been involved with the Leo Club since my sophomore year,” Lynam said. “We are working to help save lives.”
Lynam is also a member of the HOSA/HIV Peer Educators Club. The club’s mission is to promote career opportunities in the health industry and HIV awareness and education. As an active member, Lynam has attended classes to be a certified HIV peer educator. She now gives presentations to promote HIV awareness and self-protection.
Inspired by her volunteer work and her anatomy class at Palmetto, Lynam is considering pursuing a degree and career in the healthcare field.
“I really like my anatomy class,” she said.
“I’ve learned all of the muscles and bones.”
Along with her anatomy class, Lynam has taken AP and Honors courses at Palmetto to prepare for college. Child psychology and physical therapy are two career fields she is considering. Schools Lynam has applied to include the University of Miami, University of Central Florida and the University of Florida. She has already been accepted to Florida Gulf Coast University. Currently, Lynam is busy applying for scholarships, which she said is actually more time consuming and difficult than applying to colleges. During this process, she has worked closely with her college counselor at Palmetto, who has helped her find various scholarship opportunities.
“There are so many different scholarships out there, but you have to work hard to find them and get them,” said Lynam. “I actually wrote a paper for a scholarship application about how milk has influenced my high school years. I actually love milk, so this was an easy essay for me.”
Although she is very busy during her senior year, Lynam enjoys hanging out with her friends and spending time with her mom, who, she said, is her “best friend.” She loves the great outdoors and makes time to stay fit and healthy by exercising and going to the gym.
By Nancy Eagleton