Teenager's key to success: Prepare and work hard

Published: Saturday, July 21 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

At the age of 11 she was challenged by her primary teacher to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover by the end of the year. Her mom says that she took that challenge — and then some — reading it twice that year.

"It has given me a better perspective (in life), and it has made me more humble," she said. "I could definitely have not done any of this without (God's) help. If I keep him with me then I can do anything, and right now I am in one stage of my life, and I am just going to progress to another. And I know if I keep him close, then I know I will be able to reach it."

Looking forward

She said one day she would like to have a family of her own, and she projects ahead 10 years and sees herself in medical residency, possibly with a husband and one or two kids.

She doesn't have all the answers; she doesn't know what field of medicine she wants to go into, for example. But she knows her future path is in medical school.

"And the cherry on top is that Pitt has a better med school then Brown," she said.

She is set to return from a family road trip from Alaska in August — her second trip there. She can add that trip to a 40-hour drive to Florida, that she has done three times with her family, along with eight trips to Toronto.

She said she is now able to better appreciate her relationships with her family. She said when she was younger her little sister Safia, would go into her room to give her hugs. But the sister would come out rejected because Anisa concentrated instead on her studies.

"But now I am thinking of those hugs as a little bit of goodbyes as she gives them to me because I will be leaving, not for good, but for a long time and I have not been away from a family for more then a week."

This will be her last trip with her family for a while as she is set to leave for medical school on Aug. 15.

She has set new challenges for school as she strives to develop her abilities. And she said she now has a new motto as she begins this next stage of her life: "joy in the journey."

Email: jreyes@desnews.com, Twitter: @_JulianReyes_

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