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@School: Cyrillia Casimir

Cyrillia CasimirCyrillia Casimir, 15, has a schedule that would do in just about anyone – but fitting for someone who is aiming for the rigors of medical school.

Casimir is up at 4 a.m. so she can hop aboard the 5 a.m. VITRAN bus from Coral Bay to Cruz Bay. She’s on the 6 a.m. ferry to Red Hook, where the bus picks her up for a ride to Sts. Peter and Paul School in downtown Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. And then several days a week she stays after school for softball practice, which means she often doesn’t get back home until around 8 p.m.

Given the occasional no shows of the VITRAN bus, Casimir said she sometimes has to “hitch a ride” to get home.

It makes for a tiring day, but Casimir said it’s necessary. She’s a young woman with goals so she’s making sacrifices to meet them.

While this 10th grader hasn’t picked out a college for her undergraduate studies, where she expects to get a degree in biological sciences, she’s set her sights on medical school at Johns Hopkins, Loyola or Marywood Universities. “I want to be a cardiologist,” she said.

The Julius E. Sprauve School graduate doesn’t have a favorite subject, but fittingly, she said she likes learning about things having to do with the body.

“I take chemistry,” she said. “It’s hard but you have to apply yourself.”

Casimir made a start toward her future last summer when she participated in the St. John Community Foundation’s Life Skills and Career Development program held in conjunction with the V.I. Labor Department.

The program includes a job shadowing component, and she spent some time at Catered To Vacation Homes villa rentals.

“She looked like an actual employee,” Community Foundation Director Celia Kalousek said, adding that when she walked by the Catered To office, Casimir was filing and answering the phone just like she worked there.

In fact, Casimir would like to find a job to help save money for college, of course, but also for a trip to Spain planned in 2013 by Sts. Peter and Paul foreign language classes.

“I’m hoping to raise the money,” she said.

She doesn’t have much free time, but she’s active in the youth group and the steel pan orchestra at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on St. John.

And she likes to read both fiction and non-fiction. She said she was enjoying books about the Holocaust that she’s reading as part of her English class.

If time and finances permitted, she said she’ like to study dance at the St. John School of the Arts so she could expand her horizons.

Like most St. John youths, she was born on St. Thomas because that’s where the hospital is located. She lives with her sister, Kathleen, and her mother, Marlene Casimir.

Her mother said she was proud of her daughter.

“She has a good personality, likes serving the Lord, and enjoys sports,” she said.

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