Riverview High School senior Stephanie Draper’s interest in dentistry didn’t begin in a dentist’s office — it began on the ocean.
Draper grew up on Siesta Key and got her boater’s license at the age of 12.
“Because I live on the water, my parents wanted to make sure I was a part of the ocean,” says Draper. “Because of that, I got interested in biology, which helped connect to dentistry.”
The 17-year-old, who hopes to become an orthodontist or oral surgeon, had a reason to flash her pearly whites March 5, when she won Lady Ram 2013, a pageant show that raises money for the school’s senior board. Draper didn’t expect to win — her primary reason for competing was to bond with her classmates, because she spends most of her free time interning at Dr. Jeff Dickinson’s dental office on Osprey Avenue.
Draper also sings and writes songs —talents which she incorporated into her Lady Ram performance.
Draper will attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she will major in pre-dental and business, with a minor in biology.