Scholar Spotlight

Ton La: Excellence in Academics Leads to Achievement

Tier One Scholar Ton La is the definition of a true spotlight. In high school, La was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, and continued his membership when he discovered he could remain involved with the organization in college as a student council representative. La writes articles for the monthly NSHSS newsletter that focuses on how students can excel in the classroom and how to get involved.

“Every time I talk to high school students my main message to them is to not take the easy road through high school. If you sincerely work your hardest during high school doors of opportunities will open to you in terms of college acceptance letters and scholarships,” La said.

“I strongly believe that if high school students knew from the start that they could literally be paid to go to college then their work ethics will soar to unprecedented levels. Working as hard as you can means to do your best in every class you take, score as high as you can on the SAT/ACT, and to be actively involved with clubs/organizations in your school and moreover in the community.”

La is studying biology with minors in medicine & society through the Honors College and health with plans to attend Baylor College of Medicine as part of the Houston Premedical Academy and the University of Houston Law Center to earn medical and law degrees concurrently. He has been greatly involved with the Scholar Enrichment Program as the editor, since 2012, and is now a SEP Chemistry 2 workshop assistant facilitator.

“The purpose of my life is to help as many people as I can, and from early on I knew that medicine would help me fulfill my purpose. Yet, when I did my research about the law, specifically medical malpractice, I discovered that law too can help people,” La said.

“Medicine and law are the two oldest disciplines in history, both aimed to better society. My prime aspiration is to be involved in medical malpractice while working in the hospital (or having my own practice). Medical law is a complicated and intricate field, and I strongly believe that an individual who possesses both medical and law degrees will excel. I would love to work at the interface of medicine and law, and by having a background in both fields the possibilities to reinvent myself are boundless and that alone is what interests me the most. I don’t plan on ever retiring and I want to be an active citizen and contributor to my community and to society until the day I can no longer give 110 percent.”

Outside of setting making his family proud and being an all around phenomenal student, La is a pianist and a 3rd degree black belt in taekwondo, activities that he has excelled since he began at 6-years-old. He is also an activist for working out and began strength training in Fall 2012. He said it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle, especially in college and when entering medical and law school.

“I am very good at synthesizing information and I am also creative and novel when applicable. I am a true go-getter and I have an ironclad work ethic, if you ask me to do something I’ll get it done in no time flat with zero complaints,” La said.

La has already made contributions in healthcare with his selfless volunteer efforts. In March 2013, La received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award - Gold Level from President Obama in recognition for his 1300+ hours of service at Texas Children’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, and the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science.