Alli Killburn and New Vision Students

Standing in front of the classroom, Ally Kilburn looked at all the students facing her and was transported back in time, to when she was in their shoes, sitting at those desks as a high school senior looking at a possible career in the medical field. They had many questions for her.

“It was great to see,” said Kilburn, a 2019 New Vision graduate from Watertown. “I remember being their age and all the questions I had. I was happy to answer them and help in any way I can.”

Ally paid a visit to the current New Vision class and her former instructor, Mrs. Danielle Denney, in early October while on a brief break away from Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine in North Carolina, where she is continuing her studies. After attending BOCES while a student at the Watertown City School District, Ally went on to SUNY Fredonia, graduating in May 2023 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Her career goal is to become a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) and work as a pediatrician. While a MD treats an individual ailment, a DO will treat a person as a whole, both on a physical and mental health level.

“I personally liked the aspect of looking at a person from their emotional side as well as a physical side,” she says in regards to her decision to become a DO. “When I look at myself, I look at my mental state and try to figure out what I have going on. Looking at what a person is doing in their life as opposed to just having a sore throat. I’m more connected with my patients on a full level.”

Ally says BOCES helped her in many ways in terms of preparing for a career in medicine and health care, and not just on the academic level.

“One thing you have to be good at is communicating with an individual. You have to really listen to what is going on. It is crucial to speak with not only patients, but with colleagues as well. In high school, I was very quiet and not outgoing. BOCES brought me out of my comfort zone where now, I find myself more social and talking to people, even in grocery stores.”

“BOCES also allowed me to experience different areas of the medical field,” she adds. “I was able to see the different hospitals and shadow in different departments, seeing all the doctors and what they did. I really did want to pursue this in the future.”

Ally’s message for current and future BOCES students is to follow their paths and dreams and overcome any obstacle that comes their way.

“If I didn’t have a determined mindset, I wouldn’t be here today. Follow what you love. For me, that was the medical field and helping people.”