MCHS graduate shoots for medical degree

Autumn Woodard

Autumn Woodard

Shellie Smitley


Augusta University student Autumn Woodard continues to demonstrate leadership skills developed as a student at Morgan County High School.


Woodard studies biology and plays on the university’s basketball team. Last year, she was the recipient of the Augusta University African American Achievement Award. The recipients of the annual award are nominated and selected by instructors and professors. The award reminded Woodard that how she conducts herself matters.


“People see the good things I do, as well as the bad, but they see how I carry myself in the hallways, on the basketball court and in the community walking to Walmart,” she said.


The spot light is not new to her. As a student at MCHS she was a key player on the girls’ varsity basketball team, co-president of the Latin Club, president of the HOSA club, secretary of the Class of 2017 and a member of the Honor Society. She believes that the leadership skills she demonstrates were instilled while playing basketball at the high school. Trustworthy and compassionate, Woodard often found herself assisting in resolving student conflicts and presented herself as a confidant. She said basketball taught her to tackle obstacles logically and react with less of an emotional response.


“I would stick my neck out for somebody else – my team mates, and I would hope they stick their neck out for me, but I believe that is something a leader would do,” she said. She brings that caring nature to the university where she will act as a mentor for incoming freshman next year.


As an aspiring general physician, Woodard, a biology major, is adjusting to campus life. She participates in the Learning Living Community group. It is a program that helps students adapt to campus life and fine-tune time management skills.


“I am a sit-back person as far as, ‘okay let me visualize and observe,’ but I am also a person who does not want an average 85 percent,” she said. “I want that 90 or 95 percent.”


Woodard’s dad, Anthony, lives in Fairburn. Woodard’s mother, Allison, is the assistant principal at Morgan County Middle School. Woodard is the first in her family to pursue the practice of medicine, a career choice that was reinforced when she shadowed as part of a healthcare class at the high school. Woodard attributes childhood shows like Doc McStuffins with inspiring her to want to help people. The pioneer-route she has chosen does not intimidate her, but instead, she views it as a challenge.


“They tell me, ‘since you were a child you said you wanted to be a doctor,’” she said of her family.


While she takes steps to ensure her future, she believes she left a legacy at the high school in which she houses a heart-felt adoration.


“When I go back to my hometown, when I enter the gym, I know that I had an impact and I can feel the love,” she said.


Woodard believes Black History Month is a time for all Americans regardless of race or ethnicity to come together and celebrate what the country has achieved. While the success-driven student blazes her own trail in black American history, she looks back like an older sister to the basketball team that once helped to define the positive young woman that she has become.


“Keep fighting, keep going for whatever you are trying to achieve, whether it is state or regional,” she called out to the Morgan County Varsity Girls’ Basketball team.


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