LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - 17-year-old Matthew Carroll of Lake Charles is your average high school senior but at an early age, he's always had an itch for more.
"From a little child, watching him come up, he was always eager to learn" said Carroll's mother Donna Carroll. "Always with his head in a book so I mean, we're not surprised at all."
Carroll has been chosen to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, a national congress held in Washington D.C. designed to encourage and mentor students who are interested in the medical field.
"It's going to be students about my age across the nation who are interested in the same things I am," said Carroll. "We all get to converse and learn together. It'll be interesting to see all the mixed personalities and what not."
Carroll was selected to attend the congress by proven academic excellence. All students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to attend and are either chosen by their teachers or the academy itself. Carroll says as a kid, he's always found interest in helping people and says this congress is one step closer to achieving his dreams.
"I think this is one of those things that I'm going to look back on," said Carroll. "I know it's an honor but I guess it hasn't really hit me yet, you know? I'm definitely thankful for the opportunity and I'm glad I have people who support me in this kind of stuff."
As he gears up for his trip, his mom says watching him take that step is a moment to remember.
"It gives people hope to know that, I can do it just as well as he can," said his mother. "Honestly, he did work hard. He studied hard. He maintained a good attitude and it's giving him a direction. So, I want him to definitely enjoy it and take advantage of this opportunity. Grab all he can and then come back and put it to use."
The congress will feature Nobel Prize winners as well as top medical school deans. The congress will also offer a free program that will provide continual mentorship after the congress.