Helping others get treatment

Whiteland High School’s Class of 2017 salutatorian hopes to rake in a nice salary as a neurosurgeon.

She is, however, intent on spreading the wealth.

Manpreet Kaur has long held an interest in medicine, but it has been a pair of classes that she’s taken during her senior year that have narrowed her focus a bit.

During her first semester, she took a genetics class, which increased her awareness of rare and still incurable diseases. But a course in psychology, though, most piqued Kaur’s interest.

“We’re learning a lot about the brain and how it works, and that really interested me,” she said.

Part of what fascinates Kaur about the brain is how much we still don’t understand about it. When she’s majoring in neuroscience at Indiana University, she’s hoping to help humanity further its understanding of itself.

After college, she hopes to work her way through medical school and become a doctor, with the end goal of helping as many people as she can.

“I always see people not getting enough medical help, and I want to help people who don’t have enough money,” Kaur said. “So when I become a doctor — and you get a lot of money for that — I want to make an organization for people who don’t have money and help them pay for their medical bills and stuff like that.”

Kaur’s plan for the next four years also includes minoring in Spanish, a language she’s been studying for four years at Whiteland. Adding another language — the Indian-born Kaur speaks Punjabi at home — will only serve to widen the base of people that she’s able to help.

“If I also learn more Spanish and other languages, it will help me be more connected with my patients, since all of them aren’t American.”

For her academic success, Kaur credits her parents, who moved their family from the Punjab region of India to New Jersey when she was about 5 years old and then came to Whiteland in 2007, for instilling a focus in her that has clearly paid dividends.

“My parents always pushed me to be good in academics,” Kaur said. “If you have to do something, do something in academics so it’ll help you better understand and proceed in life toward your goal.”

The Kaur file

Name: Manpreet Kaur

Age: 18

Parents: Narinder Singh and Balvir Kaur

Residence: Greenwood

GPA: above 4.0

College plans: Attending Indiana University in the fall

Career goals: Going to medical school and working toward becoming a neurosurgeon

If you go

What: Whiteland Community High School’s 2017 commencement exercises

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Glenn Ray Gymnasium

Author photo
Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2715.