Class of 2016: Freeport student wants ‘to help people the way people helped me’

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FREEPORT — Traumatic car accidents are usually life-altering in a bad way.

Sakerian Morris’ experience led to his life’s purpose.

The Freeport High School senior, who will graduate with the Class of 2016 Sunday, June 12, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, was involved in a car accident when he was 10 years old. He was thrown from the vehicle and woke up in the hospital the next day not knowing what had happened.

Morris developed blood clots in his head, lost teeth, and has a metal plate in his skull. He was out of school for weeks and couldn’t play sports for three years.

Now 18, he said he plans to become a surgeon so he can save lives, just like the doctors who saved his.

“I want to help people the way people helped me,” Morris said.

This fall, Morris, who moved to Freeport from Alabama 13 years ago, will attend Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. He will major in biology and intends to go to medical school after completing his undergraduate education.

“Most of my skills are in the science and math fields, and medicine interests me the most,” he said.

Morris spent 180 hours over the course of a year to become a certified nursing assistant. Of those hours, 110 were spent at the Region 10 Technical High School in Brunswick and 70 were spent at Horizons Living and Rehab Center in Brunswick.

He said the experience of working in the assisted living home solidified his desire to become a doctor.

“I love talking to and helping people,” Morris said. “It gives me a purpose.”

After his accident, Morris said people treated him differently and it didn’t sit well with him.

“People kept saying they felt bad for me and I didn’t feel good about that,” he said. “I didn’t want people feeling bad about me.”

Being pitied and thought of as a victim didn’t interest Morris, so he decided to change the narrative of his experience. He started trying new things, making new friends, and getting out of his comfort zone.

“I think it improved the way I think as a person,” he said. “I started to shape my personality at that time.”

Morris started playing the saxophone and was in honors band and the honors wind ensemble in middle school. He said music helped him “get by” following his accident and it still plays a large role in his life today.

As Morris got to high school and realized he wanted to become a doctor, he said he started putting in more of an effort to succeed and get good grades.

“I was a goofy kid who didn’t want to go to school, but (the accident) helped me realize I wanted to have a life,” he said.

He took advanced placement biology, was inducted into the National Honor Society, and was chosen by the school to be a mentor for incoming freshmen.

While the success Morris has achieved in high school has been hard to come by, he said he knows becoming a surgeon will be much more difficult. He said putting in the work will be worth it if it means he can pursue his passion.

“I want to do more for people and help people out,” he said.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

As a result of a car accident he was in when he was 10 years old, Freeport High School senior Sakerian Morris plans to pursue a career as a surgeon.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.