Student Spotlight: Lance Reccoppa
Hello, my name is Lance Reccoppa and I am junior on the General Health Science Track. Born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, I have become well acquainted with the University of Florida. I have been very satisfied with my experience at this University, and with my Health Science classes thus far. The technology, staff, and curriculum offered at UF is more than I could ask for, and often is humbling.
I was 5 years old when I decided that I wanted to become a physician following my grandfather’s diagnosis of lung cancer. I did not know the specifics of cancer at the time, but watching my grandfather’s health slowly decay was influential. I have been intrigued learning about cancer and other diseases through classes at UF. I am applying to medical school this upcoming year, and I think that medical school will help me determine what medical field I would like to pursue. As of now, I would like to become an oncologist or a psychiatrist.
At UF, I have found some organizations that suit my interests. Since joining the Health Science program, I have become a member of the L.E.A.P. Mentorship Program that reaches out to underclassmen. I appreciate this club’s goals because when I was a Freshman, I was very unaware of the Health Science program. I try to give my mentees as much advice as possible, and I learn from them as well. I have also joined Streetlight at Shands Hospital. Streetlight is a palliative care group composed of some of the most gifted and personable students UF has to offer. Every week, we seek companionships with teenagers with chronic illnesses such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease to name a few. These patients are just like me and my classmates, except they are confined to a hospital bed and cut off socially from their peers. Support groups for these teenagers are irreplaceable because it is so easy for them to give up because of their condition.
Outside of UF, you can catch me at the pool or working. For the last 2 years, I have coached the Gainesville High Swim Team, my old swim team. I was honored to coach the Women’s Team to their first ever State Championship. Swimming is a passion of mine and I have learned a lot of life lessons from it, as I began competitive swimming when I was 8 years old. I have been able to keep swimming through the Florida Club Swim & Dive Team. Also, since Freshman year, I have sustained a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant for Champion Home Health Care. This job has enabled me to get hands-on exposure to health care, something that I have been anxious to do for a while.
As for my family, they live only 15 minutes away from campus. They have influenced me on who I have become, and I owe all of the success I have earned to them. The success that my family has enjoyed has motivated me to achieve at the highest level. I am not the first Reccoppa to attend school here. My mother and sister went to nursing school at UF, and my father went to medical school at UF. Go Gators!