DALLAS — Dallas High School senior Emily May took her own advice: Get involved.
The soon-to-be graduate was on DHS’ volleyball and softball teams and is the Associated Student Body vice president, and vice president of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society.
“Everybody says to get involved, but it’s worth it in the long run,” she said.
DHS Principal Steve Spencer says when May is part of a project, things get done.
“She has the ability to take on difficult tasks and complete them masterfully,” Spencer said. “She leads quietly behind the scenes and does all the little things that need to be done to make events meaningful, because she knows that it matters to others.”
Looking back on her journey through elementary, middle school and high school in Dallas, May said it’s those little things, the fun moments, that she enjoys most. When she walks across the stage to receive her diploma on Saturday, May said she will reflect on her and her classmates’ accomplishments.
“I’m thanking them for all the memories and the ride that we’ve been on, some of us since elementary school and some of us the last few years,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing everybody’s excitement, knowing that we all made it.”
She’s also looking forward to what comes next. May will attend the Oregon Institute of Technology to study nursing. She had been contemplating a medical career, and decided on nursing during her junior year, partly inspired by a popular class at the high school: Janelle Ussery’s anatomy and physiology class.
Before then, May had a curiosity with how the human body works.
“It wasn’t until I took anatomy and physiology last year with Mrs. Ussery that I fell in love with it,” she said.
May is one of those students who thinks dissecting things is fascinating.
“We did a cow heart. You know it’s big, but you don’t realize how big it is until you see one in front of you,” May said. “All that stuff is interesting.”
Later, she found a way to connect her interest to a career.
“Then I did a job shadow at our local hospital and fell in love with nursing,” she said.
While others might shudder at the sight of blood or injuries, May said she feels compelled to act.
“I’ve always had the want to help others,” she said. “I don’t really shy away from it if I see injuries or if I see someone needing help.”
She’s taken mission trips with her church, which gave her a mentor in Marie Davis, a nurse who frequently participates in medical mission trips to economically struggling or war-torn countries.
“She was teaching me things as little injuries came up,” she said.
May said she isn’t certain in what capacity she wants to serve as a nurse, but is considering emergency room or surgical nursing.
Spencer said, based on seeing her in action in high school, that she will achieve whatever goal she sets.
“Emily is responsible beyond her years, brings out the best in others, and has been a reason why Dallas High School is a great place to go to school,” he said. “I have an incredible trust in Emily. When she is involved, good things happen.”
May said she has mixed emotions about the next stage in life, especially moving away from close-knit Dallas to attend college in Klamath Falls.
“I’m ready, but then a part of me doesn’t want to leave my hometown that I’ve grown up in, but I know it’s going to be the right step,” she said.