Genesis Prep senior Nathan Weeks doesn’t just welcome a challenge – he seeks them out with a vigor that exceeds his years, and they’ve shaped a great deal of his present and future.
It’s the reason he chose to transfer to Genesis in the first place before his sophomore year, seeking a class environment that challenged him to his satisfaction. For Weeks, grades or recognition aren’t the end goal – bettering himself is. Everything else is just a positive side effect.
In those three years at Genesis Prep since, his parents and teachers say they didn’t see any sort of change in him like you might see with some teenagers. He’d simply always been willing to do what was required to excel.
“He is one that just really knows what he wants to do, and he will work for it until he gets it done,” said Janelle Braithwait, his history teacher and Genesis Prep’s IDLA coordinator. “And he’s not afraid to learn new things – he’ll push and push and push and get better and get better and get better. That’s just the kind of kid he is.”
He describes himself as “a very competitive person,” but Braithwait says she’ll miss a “goofy sense of humor” belied by a maturity rare for someone his age.
Weeks is bound for University of Idaho to study pre-med, with medicine being his passion for nearly as long as he can remember.
He honed in on orthopedics as a future career as early as eighth grade, and his parents remember a sustained interest in medical technology and information that only gained traction as he grew older.
After undergrad, Weeks said he plans on serving in the Air Force to fund medical school and get one step closer to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
“I just think that it’d be really cool to be able to look at it like a broken bone or something and have to kind of puzzle it all back together,” Nathan said. “I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but helping someone to where they don’t have to be in pain for the rest of their life due to injury – it’s just kind of always drawn me to do that.”
Basketball also garnered Weeks’ interest in a similar way, albeit a bit more abruptly as he entered his freshman year. But he poured his energy into it just the same as everything else.
“He just decided one day in ninth grade that he wanted to play basketball,” said his father, Dave. “The kid’s very determined. So he was in the gym before school for four hours a day, and then he would go to the gym after school.”
As per the norm, his improvement was rapid, being voted by his teammates as a team captain and leading the team in scoring this past year.
“That just says what he means to the team and what kind of a student and kind of a team player he is,” said Braithwait.
At UI, he’ll serve as a manager for the men’s basketball program, something that allows him to remain close to the sport and be part of a team in a way that meshes with his studies – all while helping cover his tuition and housing.
Going from a graduating class of 30 to a school of nearly 10,000 is daunting for most 18-year-olds, but Weeks isn’t worried. Nor is his father.
“He can go up and talk to anybody and talk to them like they’ve been lifelong friends,” Dave said. “So I don’t think he’s gonna have any issues there.”
After all, it’s just another challenge, and those are his specialty.
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