Skip to main content

Mountain Connection

Local Student Star: Kelsey Willcox

04/24/2012 16:46, Published by Jacqueline, Categories:




Kelsey Willcox, Next Step Magazines’ Super Teen

by Chandra Brin 

Conifer resident and Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA) sophomore Kelsey Willcox is bound to make the world a better place. At only 16, she’s accomplished more than many adults: she’s a self-taught artist, an entrepreneur and a gifted student with a 4.3 GPA who’s on track to becoming a surgeon.

Kelsey was recently selected out of hundreds nationwide to be featured as Next Step U magazine’s Super Teen, recognizing students “who drop jaws” through their academic, community and extracurricular work. And without a doubt, Kelsey can drop jaws.

At COVA, she founded the premedical and “mathemaniacs” clubs, was elected president of the International Forensic Science club and participates in Japanese animation (Anime), art, history and debate clubs and is the secretary of student government. She’s also in several AP courses including calculus and chemistry—unheard of for most high school sophomores—and was nominated for the National Honor Society.

“Kelsey has truly inspired and challenged me as an instructor and as a person,” said Shandra Pankoski, Kelsey’s AP calculus teacher and head of the COVA Math Department. “She’s full of creativity, energy, and passion, and attempts everything whole heartedly.”

Kelsey completed several apprenticeships with surgeons around the United Sates. This summer, she’ll be heading to India for a surgical placement at Jodhpur Hospital. She also has her apprentice doctor certificate through the apprentice doctor program, where aspiring surgeons gain practical medical field experience through labs, simulation instruments and common medical tools.

 “When I saw my first surgery, I was hooked,” said Kelsey. “I started studying the art of surgery and watching operations on YouTube. I picked up a course on anatomy and physiology and started the premed club at school to teach the other students about what I learned.”

Kelsey’s goal is to become a vascular neurosurgeon, specializing in the repair of damaged blood vessels in the brain, a career path she feels will satisfy her dual passions for medicine and working with her hands.
 

Beyond her affinity for the medical field, Kelsey’s a published illustrator. She recently illustrated a volume of books to help students in China learn English and she provides freelance design work for area companies, including a Ugandan dance company.

Her love for art led her to launch a nonprofit called The Starving Artist, where proceeds from her artistic creations—all food-themed miniatures—are donated to area food banks, a cause close to Kelsey’s heart based on her family’s own experience.
 

 “We were on the verge of losing our home. Our local food bank at the time really helped us and I think Kelsey remembers the positive impact it had on our family. I think that’s why she made it her mission to give back to them,” said Kelsey’s mother, Pam Willcox.

 In addition to art and charity work, Kelsey teaches Sunday school, studies multiple languages including Mandarin, Hindi, Latin and German and is an active thespian. In fact, she snagged roles in a couple short films through the NYC Talent Management Group and regularly performs at the Conifer Stage Door Theatre. She also plays the guitar and is a self-taught pianist and composer. But despite being multi-talented, Kelsey admittedly has struggled socially at past schools.

 “I was really proficient in other aspects of my life. I couldn’t understand why that didn’t translate to the social scene. I spent my first quarter in middle school frustrated and upset because I really didn’t fit in.”

 That’s when Kelsey and her family decided to transition to homeschool and eventually COVA, a full-time, online public charter school that serves students in grades kindergarten through 12.

“We’re lucky to have Kelsey and assist her in her educational goals. No doubt, Kelsey and other students like her are the future leaders,” said Heidi Heineke-Magri, Head of School at COVA. “Students come to our school for a variety of reasons, for instance the award-winning curriculum, the variety of student clubs, the more customized but still structured approach, and fewer social distractions, such as bullying incidents.”

“I have normal assignments, tests and grades and I participate in extracurricular activities like every other student. Enrolling at COVA allowed me to pursue other interests and helped me to advance academically and personally,” said Kelsey.
 

Even though Kelsey has ambitious dreams, for now, she’s taking it one day at a time. “At this point, I’m just enjoying life and focusing on getting into a good college like Yale, Stanford or Harvard,” added Kelsey. 



It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Basic Computer Class

    02/16/2016
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Beginner class for computers. Discover the terminology and components of both stationary and lapt...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/16/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • EHS Teen Lunch Club

    02/17/2016
    10:40AM

    EHS students are invited to join us on Wednesdays at 10:40am for an off-campus lunch at the forme...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/17/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • Jumpstart Your Job Search Workshop

    02/18/2016
    10:00AM — 12:30PM

    Learn techniques of effective networking & why it works. Navigate online applications with ease. ...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/18/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • Job Seeker's Coffee Club

    02/18/2016
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    If you are unemployed or under-employed, this group is for you. Join other job seekers over coffe...


  • Deep Chill

    02/18/2016
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Middle School students are invited to join us on Thursdays from 3-5:00 pm for "Deep Chill," a Bib...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/13/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • StageDoor Theatre presents CALENDAR GIRLS

    02/13/2016
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    CALENDAR GIRLS Written by Tim Firth Directed by Pamela Clifton Featuring the StageDoor Theatre...


  • Miners Alley Playhouse presents 4000 Miles

    02/13/2016
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace fro...


  • The Edge Theater presents medea

    02/13/2016
    08:00PM — 10:30PM

    The Edge Theater presents "Medea" by Euripides, translated by Alistair Eliot. Directed by Warren...


  • "Begin" Message Series

    02/14/2016
    12:00AM

    First Baptist Church invites you to join us at 9 or 10:30 am on Sundays for our newest message se...


  • StageDoor Theatre presents CALENDAR GIRLS

    02/14/2016
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    CALENDAR GIRLS Written by Tim Firth Directed by Pamela Clifton Featuring the StageDoor Theatre...


  • Miners Alley Playhouse presents 4000 Miles

    02/14/2016
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace fro...


  • The Edge Theater presents medea

    02/14/2016
    08:00PM — 10:30PM

    The Edge Theater presents "Medea" by Euripides, translated by Alistair Eliot. Directed by Warren...


  • Basic Computer Class

    02/16/2016
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Beginner class for computers. Discover the terminology and components of both stationary and lapt...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/16/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • EHS Teen Lunch Club

    02/17/2016
    10:40AM

    EHS students are invited to join us on Wednesdays at 10:40am for an off-campus lunch at the forme...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/17/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • Jumpstart Your Job Search Workshop

    02/18/2016
    10:00AM — 12:30PM

    Learn techniques of effective networking & why it works. Navigate online applications with ease. ...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/18/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • Job Seeker's Coffee Club

    02/18/2016
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    If you are unemployed or under-employed, this group is for you. Join other job seekers over coffe...


  • Deep Chill

    02/18/2016
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Middle School students are invited to join us on Thursdays from 3-5:00 pm for "Deep Chill," a Bib...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/19/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • Treat yourself (and a friend) to the gift of self discovery and make 2016 the year that your drea...


  • Miners Alley Playhouse presents 4000 Miles

    02/19/2016
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace fro...


  • The Evergreen Chorale - Guys & Dolls

    02/19/2016
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    This well-loved musical swept the Tony Awards in 1951 and has been revived on Broadway and in Lon...


  • Stand-Up Comedy @ StageDoor Theatre!

    02/19/2016
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    StageDoor Theatre and Colorado Comedy Festival present STAND-UP COMEDY with MARK RICCADONNA FEB...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/20/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


  • Miners Alley Playhouse presents 4000 Miles

    02/20/2016
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace fro...


  • The Evergreen Chorale - Guys & Dolls

    02/20/2016
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    This well-loved musical swept the Tony Awards in 1951 and has been revived on Broadway and in Lon...


  • Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra

    02/20/2016
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    The dance floor will be ready when Adonis Puentes makes his Lakewood Cultural Center debut at 7:3...


  • Stand-Up Comedy @ StageDoor Theatre!

    02/20/2016
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    StageDoor Theatre and Colorado Comedy Festival present STAND-UP COMEDY with MARK RICCADONNA FEB...


  • "Begin" Message Series

    02/21/2016
    12:00AM

    First Baptist Church invites you to join us at 9 or 10:30 am on Sundays for our newest message se...


  • Stories on Stage - True Story

    02/21/2016
    01:30PM — 08:15PM

    True Story featuring Kevin Kling and Storytellers from The Narrators. Masterful storytellers p...


  • Jefferson Symphony Orchestra Concert

    02/21/2016
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    The winner of the 2016 Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition, 23-year-old Al...


  • Miners Alley Playhouse presents 4000 Miles

    02/21/2016
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace fro...


  • The Evergreen Chorale - Guys & Dolls

    02/21/2016
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    This well-loved musical swept the Tony Awards in 1951 and has been revived on Broadway and in Lon...


  • Elk Run Ministry

    02/23/2016
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 10:30 am, volunteers from First Baptist Church provide ...


  • Gallery 1261 - Group Show XIII

    02/23/2016
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    Showcasing work from a large survey of artists, this exhibition explores a variety of different t...


Click to view the entire 285 Chambers Directory
Click to view the entire 2014 Health & Wellness Directory