Central Hardin High School junior Hailey Robbins has plans to enter the medical field and perhaps one day pursue a career as an anesthesiologist. She already has made quite the head start in this pursuit, earning college credits through the Hardin County Schools Early College and Career Center.

Through EC3’s program The Academy, Robbins said she will accumulate enough college credits to earn her associates degree at the same time she earns a high school diploma. A new program for EC3, The Academy allows area high school juniors and seniors to take dual credit, college-level classes.

“Any way to get some more school under my belt before I graduate sounded like a great idea to me,” Robbins said.

She does more than take classes at EC3. Robbins also serves as co-president of the center’s Health Occupation Students of America club. Through the club, Robbins has helped raise awareness locally on the subject of Alzheimer’s Disease.

To spread awareness, the club made an informational video that was shown to local schools, organized a “purple day” in which students were encouraged to wear purple for Alzheimer’s awareness and presented an Alzheimer’s simulator to students at EC3.

At EC3, Robbins also takes part in the I Lead EC3 program, which allows Academy students to teach local middle school students about concepts of leadership and team work.

“Hopefully, this will help them to not only join the Aca­demy but to become a better leader and stand out from their friends,” Robbins said.

Kristi Wright, guidance counselor at EC3 and club sponsor for I Lead, said Robbins has excelled at demon­strating and teaching leadership through the program. She said Robbins has the ability to effectively work with people from all walks of life, from middle school students to her peers to her mentors.

“Hailey’s the type of person that lights up a room and makes your day brighter,” she said. “She has that positive personality that many people are drawn to.”

Because of her experience as a leader, it’s no surprise Robbins was selected to take part in the Youth Leadership Hardin County program, which allows local high school juniors to learn more about the region from local leaders.

“We get to go represent our school and see the different opportunities we have if we want to come back to Hardin County after college,” she said.

Robbins also was selected for the Lincoln Trail Youth Salute program, which highlights exceptional students in the region based on academics, extracurricular participation and volunteer experience.

Robbins’ volunteer experiences include work with Mission Hope for Kids, with local elementary volleyball and with blood drives at Central Hardin and EC3. At Central Hardin, Robbins particiaptes in the school’s bowling team, Y-Club, Pep Club and Executive Council.

Taking part in Central’s bowling team since her sophomore year, Robbins said she has found a unique joy in competing in the sport.

“Bowling is just a fun thing to do no matter how old you are,” she said. “From 8 to 80, it’s something you can always do.”

Robbins’ father, Dan, who serves as principal at EC3, said his daughter always tries to bring out the best of any group.

“It’s easy for her to step in there and do whatever it takes to help whatever it is she’s involved in be successful,” he said.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.