When he's not busy running soccer camps or teaching gymnastics, Max Belchyk dreams of becoming a doctor. And this summer, he has been given the opportunity to find out what being a physician is all about as he participates in the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Los Angeles.
"I started wanting to be a physical therapist," said Max, who underwent physical therapy after a soccer injury years ago. "I was interested in what they did."
Now, Max has decided that medicine, which gives him the opportunity to help others, is what he wants to do with his life.
"I think sports medicine would be fun to go into," said the 17-year-old son of Max and Teresa Belchyk of Martinez.
While in Los Angeles, Max will take part in discussions on global epidemics, cures for life-threatening diseases, life as a resident, medical specialties and primary care with current physicians and patients. He will stay on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles.
"There's a whole bunch of stuff I get to do," said the rising senior at Evans High School, where he is an A/B honor student and a member of the Knights' soccer team. "It's going to be a lot of fun."
Max Belchyk, a rising senior at Evans High School, will be attending a medical forum at UCLA in July.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Only sophomores, juniors and seniors with grade point averages of 3.3 or higher are eligible to participate in the National Youth Leadership Forums on Medicine, which are currently held in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Each forum averages an attendance of between 350 and 400 students.
"I chose Los Angeles because I have never been out to California," said Max, who will also visit with a cousin who lives in the area. "I've never been past Kansas."
It is Max's desire to know more and help others that made an impression on Carol Clark, gymnastics director and assistant youth sports director at the Family Y on Wheeler Road.
"He's doing great," she said of Max's work with teaching soccer to 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds. "He does a really good job with the kids, and they have fun with him."
At the Family Y, Max teaches soccer camp to the youngsters and recently began teaching gymnastics. He also has been a referee for soccer games since he was 11.
"He just has a good work ethic, and that's hard to find these days," Clark said. "He definitely gets that from his parents."
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