Straughn’s val, sal plan medical careers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2017

High school is coming to a close for Straughn’s valedictorian, Ashley Hughes, and salutatorian, Joel Bass, and they now have their sights set on college and their futures.

Hughes, the daughter of Stacey and Terry Hughes, graduates from Straughn with a grade point average of 103.605.

“I plan on attending Auburn University at Montgomery to pursue a degree in biology health services, while playing volleyball,” Hughes said. “I plan on attending UAB after AUM to become an ER physician. In 10 years, I will be an ER physician.”

The size of AUM and the chance to continue her playing career played a role her college selection, Hughes said.

“AUM is not too big of a school,” Hughes said. “I wanted to play volleyball in college and they offered my major.”

Hughes credits her family with her strive to succeed.

“My mom was the valedictorian and my brother was salutatorian at Straughn,” Hughes said. “My family has pushed me to do my best.”

Hughes wanted to leave the underclassmen at Straughn a little advice on high school.

“No matter how hard the obstacles, keep pushing forward,” Hughes said. “The rewards will be worth it.”

Along with the volleyball team, Hughes was a member of the varsity track and field, served as FBLA vice president and Spanish Club secretary, and was a member of Peer Helpers, National Honors Society, Physics Team and an SGA representative.

Bass, the son of Elizabeth and Nicholas Bass, graduates with a 4.47 GPA.

“I plan to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham to receive a bachelor of science in nursing,” Bass said. “In 10 years, I hope to be in good health and traveling the world as a nurse. I’d really like to mission in Africa.”

Bass said he was drawn to UAB by the campus and he chose nursing to help others.

“UAB had the feel when I visited the campus,” Bass said. “I chose nursing because I always had the urge to help people.”

Striving to be at the top of his class is something Bass said is important.

“I like to succeed,” Bass said. “It also really helps with the scholarships.”

Bass had some advice to leave with the underclassmen at Straughn High School.

“If you fail one test, it’s not the end of the world,” Bass said. “Pick yourself back up and try harder the next time.”

Bass was FBLA president, a member of National Honor Society, captain of the cross country team, a member of Spanish Club, Physics team and SGA. Bass also serves elderly, retired veterans.