LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – Every month throughout the school year, CBS4 and its partners, Colorado School of Mines and PDC Energy, honor a high school student who is excelling in the STEM fields. Future Leaders winners get $1,000 and a profile on CBS4. This month’s winner is getting a jump start on a career in medicine.

CBS4's Lauren Whitney with Future Leaders Winner Sophie Mickus.

CBS4’s Lauren Whitney with Future Leaders Winner Sophie Mickus. (credit CBS)

Sophie Mickus is a volunteer at Sky Ridge Medical Center.

“Surgeries, I think, are just so cool, and I’d love to be a surgeon someday,” Mickus told CBS4.

While her duties include whatever needs to be done, it’s helping the patient families in the surgery center that she most likes.

“Just to make this potentially scary place a little bit less, a little more inviting is definitely very rewarding, and my favorite part for sure,” she said.

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When she wanted even more medical experiences, she created new opportunities.

“I ventured into veterinary medicine where there are fewer restrictions, and got to see some really cool surgeries,” Mickus explained.

“What do you love about math and science,” CBS4’s Lauren Whitney asked Mickus.

“I really like how everything in math and science kind of always has an answer,” she replied.

LINK: Nominate a Student For Future Leaders

Mickus noticed that e-cigarettes were becoming a health concern among her peers.

“It’s doing something unnecessary to their bodies, and it really kind of bugged me a lot,” she said.

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She looked for an answer in education.

“We did homeroom lessons, each with a different goal in mind, informing students about the scientific implications of vaping, to consequences of vaping in school, and ways that they can quit.”

She even testified at the State Capitol in favor of raising the age limit on vaping.

“It was definitely scary, but it was very rewarding, by doing so it raised some awareness to how big of a problem it was,” Mickus said.

A big problem that Sophie is not afraid to tackle head on, like she does everything in her life.

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