Alana Wilson
Category: 2022 High School Winner

Alana Wilson

Fly high, little butterfly. Science is undeniably fascinating to me. Living in a rural town, I can closely study biology with my magnifying glass. Many life cycles are present in nature, but the metamorphosis of a butterfly showcases the most beautiful and inspiring cycle. From a young child, I’ve witnessed the inspiring life of Dr. Megan Lowe, firsthand. Dr. Lowe’s journey resembles the metamorphosis of the butterfly, my favorite creature, so much that now I believe I can fly.

Flying is essential for the butterfly to thrive. When I have fears or doubts, Dr. Lowe quotes Erin Hanson, “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” She is caring and creative. I admire her willingness to help others reach their dreams. She is well respected as a pharmacist, educator, and COVID-19 vaccinator. She is the Founder of a non-profit organization that addresses educational inequities. She provides free resume-building workshops at my school. She was the Program Director of the Divas-In-Training Mentoring Program and the Leader Apprentice Program.

Dr. Lowe’s journey is like watching the instars of a monarch butterfly in a vivarium. When I was 5 years old, she was crowned as the Queen of Jefferson County High School. I was a flower girl in her coronation ball. In her speech, she shared this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” In 2021, she shared this quote in her commencement speech at my school. I reflect on the butterfly’s metamorphosis as it patiently grows until it’s free. During this school year, my teacher encouraged everyone to listen to her speech and showed me the program from the 2008 coronation. I was full of joy because my name was listed as part of the Queen’s court.

Dr. Lowe’s caterpillar and pupa-like stages motivate me. She maintained good grades, was her class’s Salutatorian, graduated from an HBCU, and graduated pharmacy school. She was the Chair of our Church’s Courtesy Committee and I was the Youth Chair. What inspired me most is that when her mother passed away, she never quit.

The butterfly emerged full of sophistication and courage. Dr. Lowe traveled to Africa and Jerusalem for mission trips and to Europe with the NAACP. Her wingspan is not limited to place or cause. For Dr. Seuss Day, she read, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” to elementary students. She encourages me, my cousins, and other youth to be young impactful leaders in society. Just like the host plant supports the caterpillar, she guides me along the best path for my current caterpillar-like stage.

My love for science drives my dream to become a registered nurse. My vision is to establish affordable medical clinics in poor communities. When I become a nurse, I will surprise my aunt and join her on a mission trip to Africa. I want to demonstrate my gratitude to her for loving me and inspiring me to truly believe that I, too, can fly.