Allie Sakowicz, by all accounts, is your average fifteen year old girl. Her playlist includes Beyonce, Linkin Park, and Green Day. She loves going to high school football games with her friends and cheering on their team. Her favorite subject in school is chemistry. Oh…and two more things…she is a freelance writer with over 30 published articles as well as a DONA (Doulas of North America) - a trained birth doula. That’s right, fifteen year old Allie is trained to assist women with emotional support, encouragement, and wisdom throughout labor and birth.
From the time Allie was 2 years of age she wanted to be a doctor. She grew interested in childbirth when the world of ob-gyn opened up to her around the time she was nine years old. When she was twelve, Allie was invited to be front and center to witness a live birth and from that moment on her life’s path was charted.
“When I arrived at the hospital, we went up to Labor & Delivery to meet Nurse Nancy. I was shocked to hear that she was taking care of a mother who was willing to let me view her delivery. I felt ecstatic, and was confident that I could handle the experience. This is what I had hoped and dreamed of for years.”
“Time passed quickly, and at 4:51 p.m., Jennifer was born. I was in awe. Nothing could have prepared me for the joy I felt as the doctor shouted ‘It’s a girl!’ to Kim’s friends and family. Nurse Nancy took baby Jennifer over to the warmer, where she cleaned her up and checked to make sure she was healthy. She listened to her heartbeat with a stethoscope, and then let me listen. She stamped her footprints on my arm. I showered with a towel over my arm for several weeks, and tried to sleep with my arm in the air to savor the priceless memory on my left forearm.”
The journey to become a certified doula is a lengthy one. There are several organizations that certify doulas, the most popular being DONA. Allie will be obtaining certification through DONA International. Basically, the process involves reading, childbirth/breast-feeding classes, essays, a major workshop and then anywhere between 3-7 births to complete certification.
“At this point I have done everything except attending births. I just finished my workshop June 14th and can now call myself a DONA-trained birth doula. I expect that I will be able to become fully certified by the end of next summer, only because it is going to be very hard to attend the births. It's not something I can do during the school year since the timing can be so unpredictable, which only leaves the summer. When I become certified, I hope to work with teenage moms because I feel that I can be a great resource for them as a fellow teen who happens to know a ton about the birth process.”
While Allie waits for her final doula certification next summer she keeps herself occupied as a freelance writer.
“I've had over 30 articles published in both regional and national magazines such as Odyssey Magazine, Scrubs Magazine and Chicago Parent. I'm also a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps, and my assignments for them have included attending President Obama's Election Night and Super Tuesday parties, the premiere of High School Musical 3 in Los Angeles, the Olympic Media Summit in Chicago and a rally for Sen. John McCain, among others.”
Allie’s writing career is a stepping-stone to becoming an OB/GYN.
“Most of my recent articles have been about medical topics, and it is helpful for me to learn more about the topics I cover, as well as inform the people who will be reading the piece. It is a great feeling to hear someone say that they learned something because of an article that I wrote, and that is the goal that I aim for every time.”
So, maybe Allie Sakowicz isn’t exactly your typical teenager. Maybe she is doing just a little more with her life than most kids her age. At the end of the day though, when she relaxes to her favorite songs she is no different than any other young lady, except the lyrics of one particular song might just mean a little more to Allie because she has already chosen her life path and while she is walking that path she is having the time of her life.
Read more about Allie and her plans on her website: http://www.alliesakowicz.com/
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
-Lyrics from “Good Riddance” by Green Day
Thank you Allie, for sharing your Story with us.
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© 2009 by Julianne Barclay and Story of My Life