18 Under 18 Highlight: Kira Householder

Posted in: 18 Under 18, Students

In our Junior Achievement 18 Under 18 recipients series, we’re next highlighting Kira Householder. She’s overcome a lot in her young life and aspired to a future in medical research. Read on the hear why she was selected as an inaugural Junior Achievement 18 Under 18!

Kira Householder, Chaparral High School, Scottsdale, 16 years old

A junior at Chaparral, Kira is making the future happen through medical research related to cancer and wellness. As a volunteer for FORCE (Facing Our Risk of   Cancer Empowered) and an intern at the Barrow Neurological Institute, where she led a project on glioma stem cells, she has found that her interests also can help the greater good.

“Over the years I’ve done a lot of work related to cancer,” she said. “I was an intern in the brain tumor lab at Barrow.”

In addition to her work in medicine, Kira also has gotten her classmates involved. She is the co-founder and president of Chaparral’s Medical Doctor Club. She also worked with children at the Global Leadership Adventures Initiative for Children in Costa Rica. As a writer, Kira’s work has been published in McDowell Mountain magazine. She’s won poetry-writing awards from Scholastic, and she was the global winner of the UNESCO Goi Peace Foundation International Essay contest. 

What do you want to be doing in 10 years? I’ll hopefully be working toward a Ph.D. M.D. I’m interested in going that route because I love research but I also love the clinical side. Hopefully, something in neuro-oncology with a focus in pediatrics because I love working with kids.

Who’s your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration has been my mom. She was the one who first got me involved with FORCE because of the cancer on that side of my family. She’s taught me a lot about raising awareness. We volunteer with FORCE. It’s a big part of both of our lives.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?  My work at Barrow continually taught me not to give up. I’d face roadblocks in my research, especially when I was just starting off. I’d fail over and over again, for months and months. They’d tell me to keep trying. We’d face issues, and you’ve just got to keep going.