Joni Stuart

Hometown: Stuarts Draft, VA

high school: Stuarts Draft

college: Xavier University of Louisiana

MAJOR: Biology

GRAD. PROGRAM: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine (2008, MD)

Joni Stuart believes that being the second of seven children and growing up amidst so much activity and diversity account for her ability to participate in a multitude of activities while maintaining high academic standards. "My family members," she says, " have taught me the art of negotiating, compromising, sharing, team building, prioritizing, and working well with distraction!" Whatever the reasons for her success, she has established an impressive record as a student, athlete, and community leader.

Joni is the first African American in the history of Stuarts Draft High School to rank first in the class, and the only one attending the Central Shenandoah Valley Regional Governor's School. She has been honored as a MACY Scholar, HOBY Scholar, and Howard Hughes Biomedial Scholar. Vice-President of the freshman, sophomore and junior classes, Joni also served as Vice-President of the National Honor Society, and of the Varsity Club, a service organization. She helped to implement "Cougars and Cubs," a mentoring program, tutored elementary students in science and math, and participated in GEMS, a program dedicated to stimulating young girls' interest in engineering, math, and science.

A talented athlete, Joni served as co-captain of the varsity basketball and track teams. In basketball she was named best defensive player for two consecutive years and was selected for the Valley All-District Team in 1999. Among her accomplishments in track are district titles in hurdles, high jump, and long jump; she was team MVP in 11th grade. Joni is a Wendy's High School Heisman State Finalist.

The activity that Joni finds most rewarding, however, is her role on the Stuarts Draft Volunteer Rescue Squad. As a licensed EMT-B, she spends twelve hours every week responding to emergencies. She has helped to save lives but has also confronted tragedy and loss. Joni's experience on the squad has strengthened her desire to become a doctor. She has chosen to attend Xavier University of Louisiana, a school noted for its success in preparing students for medical school.

Back to 2000 Scholars