Cascade High School senior Hannah Tran hopes to study medicine during college. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Cascade High School senior Hannah Tran hopes to study medicine during college. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Amid virus oubtreak, Cascade senior envisions future in public health

Hannah Tran, who wants to work with kids, is eying careers in pediatrics and communication science.

For Cascade High School Senior Hannah Tran, the topic of coronavirus sparks curiosity, not fear.

Tran sees reading about the virus as an opportunity to connect the molecular chain reactions she’s learning about in Advanced Placement biology to what’s happening in the world outside her classroom.

In addition to her academic success, the 17-year-old also serves as a representative on the Everett School Board, where she’s a voice for the student body. As a member of another committee, she helps review policies alongside teachers and other school district officials.

Question: Class gets out at 12:50 p.m. today (Friday), and then you have the weekend. What are your plans?

Answer: Usually, I go to Japanese school on Saturday. But because of the coronavirus, it’s been cancelled. And so, I have plans to go see the Silvertips tonight. But I’m not sure. Some of my friends are not comfortable with going out in public. So we might just end up hanging out at somebody’s house. I think I’ll play a lot of music and try to read. I try to read a good balance of English and Japanese books. Maybe I’ll take this weekend to focus on Japanese and finish up homework.

Q: What do you like to read?

A: Recently, I’ve gotten into reading about social justice and the U.S. criminal justice system. One of the books I’ve read that’s very memorable is called “Just Mercy” by Brian Stevenson. I’ve wanted check out that movie because it just came out within this year. It just covers how the death penalty and the criminal justice system is racially biased and how this company called Equal Justice Initiative that Brian Stevenson founded is helping to work to limit the racial disparities in the criminal justice system and help those on death row and those who are wrongfully indicted.

Q: It’s awesome that you’re interested in stuff like policy-making and social justice. Have those things influenced what you want to do with the rest of your life?

A: No. So I am interested more in medicine and public health. I did an internship with the Snohomish Health District this past summer. And mainly my work there revolved around community outreach in the opioid epidemic. It was a great experience — probably one of the best experiences of my life. Before the internship, I was interested in epidemiology — so, the spread and prevention of disease. I’m still very interested in that … But I’m not really sure if I want to do that. I like interacting with kids. And so I’m looking into a career in pediatric emergency medicine or like the communicative sciences fields.

Q: What did you like about the internship that you did with the health district?

A: It just exposed me to the government side of public health, not necessarily the research side. I was originally interested in cancer research and mainly the research side. But the government side showed how public health officials really serve the needs of the community and how what they work on is very influential on what’s happening in the society.

Q: You said you like to play instruments like the ukulele and the piano. What’s your favorite song to play?

A: (Pachelbel’s) Canon. I can play it on the piano and I’m learning it on the ukulele. It’s just very serene and peaceful … I just don’t have to think about my responsibilities when playing music. I think that’s what brings me back to it.

Rachel Riley: 425-339-3465; rriley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @rachel_m_riley.

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