MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - An inspiring young student from the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology is being recognized for his compassion, dedication and selfless heart.
“Follow your passion. If you’re passionate about helping people you have to follow it and look into organizations that align with your passion," said senior Elor Mayan on what makes him happy.
Mayan said part of following his passion means being very involved with his community, focusing on his future healthcare career, and leading by example at the Academy for Arts, Science and Technology.
Mayan coordinated the first-ever Drug Awareness Week at his school and encouraged conversations about topics including underage drinking, vaping and overdose deaths.
“It’s just heartbreaking to me because situations like this are almost always preventable. So I wanted to bring it to the school and I also reached out to other schools to see if they are interested because you really do have to start somewhere," Mayan said.
He kicked off the Drug Awareness Week with an assembly and a poster for students to sign to pledge against tobacco and tobacco products.
"We did it specifically the week of prom because it’s been statistically proven that people in high school want to drink and drive during prom and do drugs, so it’s important to bring awareness before a day like that,” Mayan said.
In less than a year, Mayan has completed more than 500 community service hours. He volunteered at Tideland’s Waccamaw Hospital, partnered with the Department of Health and Environmental Control during Hurricane Florence and was trained to teach a class called “Until Help Arrives” to around 100 other students. He has also helped raise $1,700 for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
“For my service, I received the Presidential Service Award from the President of the United States of America, so that was pretty cool,” Mayan said.
His selfless heart shines when someone asks him about his future plans.
“After becoming a registered nurse, I want to be a nurse practitioner and I’m really interested in giving back to rural communities that don’t have a lot of healthcare, because I really want to give back to people who really need it. It would be awesome if I could potentially travel the world and go to third world countries, like some countries in Africa or some places in a war," Mayan said.
He also served as a state officer for the South Carolina chapter of Health Occupations Students of America during this past school year.
“As a state officer I was able to speak in front of 1,900 people and was able to help run our state leadership conference," Mayan said.
Mayan doesn’t downplay the rigorous pre-med program at school, but said he works hard now to plan for what’s to come.
“I’d say a big role model is my pre-medicine teacher, Miss Pavlovic. Just seeing what she’s done in the medical field and how she’s helped others and how she’s dedicated her life, I want to live a life like she has," he said.
Mayan has interned at the ICU and ER unit at McLeod Seacoast. He said he has committed to the University of South Carolina to major in nursing.