2015 ANNUAL REPORT
Sometimes the requests attached
to membership in the AANS can
reached out to staff at the AANS about
a program it was running for middle-school students.
Seventh and 8th grade students were asked to write an
essay about their career aspirations, detailing their thoughts
on the professions they hoped to enter into as adults. Part
of the prize for winning the essay contest included a day
shadowing someone in that dreamt-about profession.
One of the winning essays, submitted by Alahji Barry, a
middle schooler from Atlanta, concluded his essay with the
My decision to become a neurosurgeon did not come in
a moment of blinding revelation, but as a result of an
interest in science. Through future experiences I will
encounter, I can think of no other profession that is so
fulfilling and rewarding as that of a neurosurgeon. The
road to becoming a brain surgeon is necessarily a long
one. But with the sufficient amount of dedication, and my
strong passion to learn, I will be able to achieve my dream.
In addition, I will not allow anything to interfere with the
attainment of my goal.
Alahji’s goal created a slight dilemma for the contest
organizers: where could they find a neurosurgeon willing
to spend time with a teenager? Enter the AANS and
Regis W. Haid Jr., MD, FAANS, who took time out of
his busy schedule to meet with Alahji and show him the
“I really enjoyed meeting with Alahji, hearing about his
hopes for his future and sharing some of my professional
experiences with him. The founding principles of
neurosurgery have always included taking time for the next
generation, and, while Alahji is younger than most, his
interest, inquisitiveness and intelligence created a day that
was as memorable for me as I hope it was for him,” said Dr.
Haid. “You don’t often get to spend the afternoon with the
future. I highly recommend the experience.”