Southside High School Class of 2012 valedictorian Marquisha Byrd shows off her diploma following graduation ceremonies last month. -- Ashley Johnson

Byrd sets sights on biology, future clinic

Published 11:23pm Thursday, June 14, 2012

Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of articles spotlighting the valedictorians from each of the schools in Dallas County.


After taking health-related classes in vocational school, recent Southside High School graduate Marquisha Byrd knew she was destined for a career in the medical field.

This fall, Byrd, who was recently named Southside High School’s senior class valedictorian, will come one step closer to reaching her goal when she enrolls at Auburn University Montgomery.

“In vocational school, I really liked the health field,” Byrd said. “I was taking up health sciences and we got to volunteer in a hospital and everything. I really liked doing it and knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Byrd plans to major in biology at AUM, and has set the bar high for herself before going on to study pre-med.

“I want to graduate cum laude from college and then go be successful in medical school,” she said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep going until I get my Ph.D and then I’ll be able to go out and open up my own clinic.”

Byrd said she was grateful for the opportunity to attend AUM in fall, and that she was excited to meet new people at the school.

“I don’t know of anyone else going [to AUM] at the moment,” she said. “I’m excited, yet a little nervous, but I know it’ll be all right. I’m just hoping to go and have fun and get my education so I can be successful.”

Moving away from Selma won’t be easy for Byrd, however.

“I’m going to miss the people,” she said. “I’ll miss all of my friends, my family and even some of the things in Selma.”

Byrd, who enjoys reading, writing and playing softball in her free time and on the weekends, said she didn’t do many extracurricular activities during her time at Southside so she could focus on her academics.

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