Students honored at the 2019 Chillicothe High School Academic Achievement Banquet were encouraged to go through life by realizing the importance of taking chances by the evenings featured speaker, 2004 Chillicothe High School graduate Dr. Amy K. Patel.

The 28th annual awards highlighted the academic achievement of the honored 187 students based on their academic accomplishments from the last school year. Honorees were presented with a gold pin, certificate and first-year honorees received an academic letter to recognize their accomplishment in earning 3.5-grade point average or better.

Patel is a board-certified and fellowship-trained breast radiologist at Liberty Hospital. She told the students and their supporters about the importance of taking chances and offered them her top 10 pieces of advice, which include, being willing to take chances, and following your passion.

“You have to be passionate about what you do, or you will experience burnout that is so common in so many fields,” she said. “Simply follow what fuels your passion, every day.”

She also encouraged them to set defining goals, stay on the course even if and when they fail.

“You are going to fail at some point - it is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you quit,” she said. “You stay on the course. Do not get discouraged, if you are going to fall or fail you will fall forward, keep the course”

She stressed the important role support has made in her life. She mentioned Chillicothe teachers who played a pivotal role in helping her and told the students that being from a small town allowed them to have the benefit of having supporters who would always be willing to help, just as a CHS science teacher helped Patel with a chemistry class during college.

“Have a diverse tribe of mentors, people of different career backgrounds, different levels of profession, age, gender,” she said. “You cannot ever have too many mentors.”

Trusting their intuition and own judgment is vital, just as is knowing one’s worth,” she said.

“Know your worth, cultivate your skillset, and never underestimate your skills. Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter where you come from, it largely matters where you are going”

Patel told the students, no matter where life takes them or what time restraints they may feel along the way, being sure to take time to have fun, will carry them just as far as any career or educational advice they may receive.

“Do things that bring you joy, you have to take time for you to be happy, that will carry you far,” she stressed. “Part of taking care of yourself and being the best you is to make sure you do things that bring you joy.”