Aidan McGirr, a Flinn Scholar from Anthem Prep, a Great Hearts Academies school, said he plans to study astrophysics while on the pre-med track at Barrett, the Honors College of Arizona State University.
McGirr said he’s dreamed of being an anesthesiologist ever since he had a tonsillectomy when he was seven years old.
“The day before the surgery, my parents took me out for lunch and the waiter, for some terrible reason, related the story of the time a person he knew choked to death after having his tonsils removed,” McGirr said.
“I went into the surgery absolutely petrified, but yet I was amazed by how the anesthesiologist could take the pain out of one of life’s most frightening moments,” McGirr said. “Ever since, I have wanted to do the same for others.”
Recently McGirr said he discovered a deep love for physics and space.
“For me, what lies beyond the Earth is both fascinating and daunting, and I truly cannot wait to study it in-depth,” McGirr said.
As a sophomore, McGirr attended an event in Phoenix where he met the Flinn directors and the current scholars.
“I was in absolute awe over how incredible and passionate the scholars were and how committed they were to make an impact both locally and globally,” Mc Girr said. “I knew after that night that the Flinn was my dream.”
McGirr said his parents, teachers, Philip Althage, Michael Cowan, and the school headmaster Alison Westerlind helped and supported him as he applied for the Flinn scholarship.
“When I found out that I had been named a Flinn (Scholar), I was absolutely dumbfounded,” McGirr said. “It was such a long journey and climb that I just didn’t know what to do! I had always had this dream of running around screaming, feeling on top of the world, but I never actually thought that the day would come.”