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Pleasantville Valedictorian Pursues Public Health

For Pleasantville High School valedictorian Claire Eichinger, helping people is the primary focus of her life. That’s not to say she doesn’t focus on her studies or her second love, soccer. But service to others really stokes her and compels her to action.

Eichinger is graduating in June from PHS and is accepted to Boston University’s seven-year medical program. Eichinger said she plans to pursue a career in epidemiology, possibly in a developing country.During her sophomore year, her father, Daniel Eichinger, an NYU professor, took a sabbatical leave and went to western Puerto Rico and Claire convinced her parents to let her come along, transferring to a local Puerto Rican high school.

Once there she developed a fascination with foreign countries and helping others which has blossomed into her future career path.

“It’s kind of in my blood. My mom is a pediatrician and my dad is a Ph.D at NYU, so science has always really been my thing,” Eichinger said. “Beyond that, helping people is really important to me. That’s really what I want to do with my life.”

Eichinger plans on joining the Public Health Service , which sends volunteers to the CDC , NIH , Coast Guard and countries such as South America or Africa. She played soccer until her junior year when several nagging stress fractures sidelined her. Despite that, Eichinger remains busy volunteering with the Pleasantville Ambulance Corps and volunteered over 100 hours in April and has been on 21 calls so far this month.

“On Monday, it was a crazy day,” Eichinger said. “I was out on the bus and we had three calls in a row. We had two car accidents and a seizure. One of those was a major car accident. That rush of adrenaline is amazing.”

Eichinger hopes to work as an EMT while at Boston University, once she completes the EMT classes.

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