Rafael Soto, a sophomore at Harlingen High School, served as a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders held in Lowell, Massachusetts, earlier this week.
The Congress was an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields.
The purpose of this event was to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be physicians or medical scientists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.
Soto was nominated by Dr. Robert Darling, the medical director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists to represent Texas based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.
During the three-day Congress, Soto joined students from across the country and heard Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research.
They also were given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school, heard stories from patients who are living medical miracles, were inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies and learned about cutting-edge advances and the future of medicine and medical technology.
“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,” said Richard Rossi, executive director, National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.
“Focused, bright and determined students like Rafael Soto are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”
Soto and the others also witnessed a live surgery as part of the event.
The academy offers free services and programs to students who want to be physicians or go into medical science.
The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists was founded on the belief that prospective medical talent must be identified at the earliest age and help the students acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of this career.
Based in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Boston, the academy was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address the issues in the medical industry by working to identify, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to the service of humanity as physicians, medical scientists.