Person of the Week: Brandon Young

April 1, 2009 3:28:59 PM PDT
Brandon Young is doing cancer research at the age of 17."I did this research at the NC State University Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry," he explained.

Through a special arrangement, Young is analyzing statistical data from lab experiments on mice that are focused on the tumor shrinking properties of a molecule called PAC-1. He has just returned from China where he was one of four American students to present his science project at a competition in Beijing.

"We toured Beijing, went to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, did a lot of sightseeing as well," he said.

When Young is not in the laboratory or traveling to China, you'll find him in the classroom at Enloe High School.

"Brandon is a great student, great person, he's the kind of student any principal would be proud to have. He's an ambassador for our school," offered Principal Beth Cochran.

Young doesn't just excel in the classroom. He's also the captain of the football team - and on the track team.

Young says he gets his drive for success from his parents.

"I know a lot of people look to their parents for guidance, but they really are my inspiration for everything I do and why I try so hard," he said.

Young's parents are also highly successful.

"We are very busy. We work hard both here at home and outside the house, but family always comes first," said Pam Young.

Pam and Reuben Young met in law school at NC Central. Young's mom is on the state Industrial Commission. Dad is the Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety.

"It's amazing what kids can do when you give them the opportunity and the support to do it," said Reuben Young.

The couple is always working to instill an important lesson that they hope will carry both of their sons through life.

"There is no substitute for hard work. They don't have to be the smartest kid in the class, they don't have to be the smartest kid in school, but they should never allow anyone to out work them," said Reuben Young.

It's hard to imagine anyone outworking Brandon Young or anyone getting in the way of his goals.

"I plan on accomplishing, getting my MD - PhD, and hopefully helping the world somehow," he said.

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