Maddy Burba is studying nursing in high school to help in her future career.

A Central Hardin High School, Burba, 18, is in the health science pathway at the Early College and Career Center currently in a phlebotomy class and she received her CNA certification last year.

“I feel like I have an advantage because there are not that many nurses that get to go through nursing school already having a CNA certification, knowing how to draw blood and all that,” she said. “It gives me a good look into what I want to do and helps me decide what I wanted to do.”

She wanted to get into nursing after taking a principles of health science class her freshman year and thought it was fun. She wants to be able to figure out how to help people and find out what’s wrong with them but didn’t want to become a doctor.

“I want to be a nurse in the NICU and I’m looking forward to helping those babies and their parents,” she said.

She knows it will be rewarding when it’s a happy job but also knows it’s important to be there for people in difficult situations.

She’s planning to go to Western Kentucky University for nursing school.

Leann Blair, a science teacher, said she’s seen the highest character in Burba.

“In my presence, I have witnessed her work-ethic, self-discipline, self-determination and natural abilities as a student of life,” Blair said. “She possesses the intrinsic desire to simply be the best that she can possibly be.”

Some of her skills are time management, working independently or with others and the ability to learn, teach and assist others in the anatomy and physiology course Blair teaches.

“She worked diligently and was very helpful to her peers as she assisted them in their learning process in a kind and respectful manner,” she said. “She is always attentive to detail and prepared.”

Blair said she did all this while not only surviving but also thriving as a student during the pandemic.

“She is resilient and she has coping skills as she matures beyond her years,” she said. “Maddy handles her daily life and its responsibilities with poise and grace.”

She called Burba the whole package.

“She is a wonderful young lady and I simply adore Maddy as a person,” Blair said. “You want a Maddy in your life.”

Recently, Burba worked at Thomas Dairy Farm and a State Farm Insurance office. She learned a few things at these jobs Burba thinks will help her in her future career.

Interacting with people and talking to people on the phone at these jobs helped her branch out of herself and be more outgoing.

“Calling totally random people I did not know helped me grow in that area and I slowly became more outgoing and able to carry on conversations on the phone better,” Burba said.

She also said having to answer questions and explain things to each person and in a way they understand it was helpful as well.

On top of her academics and work, Burba has played tennis for four years.

“It’s a tight-knit community,” she said of her tennis team.

There are several players but she said everyone knows each other well.

When she started her freshman year, she had never played before but her English teacher, Jeff Crady, talked her into it.

Crady said Burba is one of the most responsible young women he’s taught.

“You can really count on her in any situation,” he said. “She has a maturity beyond her years while still being fun and able to laugh at herself and the things in the world around her.”

He called her a mom to all her friends.

“But the cool mom everyone wants to hang out with,” he said.

She’s on the school’s executive council and in Beta club as well as being in the youth group at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

At school, sometimes it’s hard to stay connected while taking classes at EC3, especially while playing tennis and taking classes in the medical pathway. It can be hard to balance it all but she thinks she’s figured out how to do it well.

“I think it’s made me a better studier and student having to balance everything and figure out her schedule,” she said.

Part of being in the clubs she’s chosen at school are service hours that can help her and other students go out and find activities she can do to be helpful in the community and become passionate about, she said.