By Kelle Barr/weloveannarbor.com
What do you want to do when you grow up?
It’s a question something nearly every child has been asked. They tend to dream big. Some want to put out fires or teach classes. Some want to write novels. Some even plan to fly to the moon and back one day.
Ariel Garrett did.
After becoming a burn victim at the hands of abusive foster parents, Ariel decided to make lives brighter for others like herself, and by toddlerhood she had charted her future with a goal of helping improving skin-grafting surgery for future burn victims.
“I’ve always wanted to be a surgeon,” Ariel says. “When I was 3, I was placed in a very unsafe foster home. As a punishment, they held both my hands as well as my foot under hot water and I had to have a skin graft.”
Learning about Bath’s professional and personal life has been a lesson in inspiration.
“I want to create a better technique in skin grafting to prevent and reverse keloids and discoloration,” she wrote in her winning story.
“As a burn victim, she is often inundated with questions about her hand,” says Mitchell. She wants to be able to help others not get those questions at all. I told her if there is something that you think should be made better, you be difference.”
And Ariel hopes to do just that – preferably at one of the three colleges that interest her most: Hampton University, Xavier University of Louisiana or Johns Hopkins University.
Mitchell is proud of the way her daughter turned a nightmare into a dream.
“Her spirit makes you realize how precious life is and how wonderful it can be if you smile. Even through the toughest times.”