Elizabeth Smith loves science - so much so she's picked an obscure field to pursue once she finishes anatomy and all her other high school courses.
"I've narrowed my choices down to three colleges: Howard, Spelman, and Xavier," she said. "I want to major in chemistry undergrad, and for grad school, I'd love to go to the University of Texas at Austin and major in geology and hydrology. I want to be a geochemist when I grow up, if I'm not already grown yet."
The kid speaks the truth. She has many grown-up qualities.
Smith maintains a 3.3 grade point average, and she's ranked in the top twenty percent of her class. She says her parents have a lot to do with her academic success.
"They stay on me. My mom helps me an hour a day with my SAT studies and preps in math, and my dad proofreads all my papers," Smith said with a smile.
Smith does her part, too, when it comes to extra time with the books.
"I graduated out of the CDEP program out of Fort Valley and that took me from 9th grade to 12th grade year for four summers," Smith explained. "I studied engineering geology, hydrology, and science. Boy, I sound like a nerd, but that's where it all came from."
Besides science, Smith's second love is softball. Head Coach Jennifer Raymond has coached her for four years and has great respect for her centerfielder. But she says more importantly, Smith's teammates look up to her.
"They voted for captains this year. She was voted a team captain, so that says a lot that the girls think highly of her."
They think highly of her because of her work ethic and a streak of what Raymond calls perfectionism.
"Any time I make an error on the field, I'm hard on myself. Perfectionist, yeah, a little bit," Smith admitted.
"She's got really good speed so she's willing to attack the ball in center field, Raymond said. Up to bat, she's probably .350 right now."
So it seems Smith sits in pretty good position for the future.
"Being a nerd and an athlete it all balances out. It's great," Smith said.
Smith says she does want to go on and play softball on the college level and her coach thinks she could achieve that dream.
In addition to playing during college, she also wants to coach a little league team because she says she just loves the game that much.