JOHN DAY - Since she was a small child, Tilli Armstrong, 18, of John Day, has known what she wanted to be when she grew up.
"I think I was in the second grade when I told everyone I was going to be a pharmacist like my dad," she said.
That certainty has helped to earn her a place in the early admission program and College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University, a coveted program for future pharmacists where early admission is not an easy feat.
"We take high-achieving high school and first-year college students, and, essentially, ensure them a seat in the Pharm.D. program," said Angela Haney, director of student services at OSU.
Each year only a handful of applicants is guaranteed into the program.
"We take no more than 16, depending on the strength of the applicant pool," Haney said. "For anyone admitted, it's fantastic."
Armstrong had to fill out an application, write several essays and provide two letters of recommendation before being admitted into the program.
She will need to complete all prepharmacy requirements, which includes several pre-pharmacy science courses and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average before taking her seat at the College of Pharmacy at OSU in the fall of 2010.
Armstrong is not bothered by the requirements.
"Science and math are two of my favorite subjects," Armstrong said.
She is a 2007 graduate of Grant Union High School, where she maintained a nearly constant 4.0 GPA.
"I had one B in high school," Armstrong admitted.
Armstrong's parents, Greg and Marla, own Len's Drug in John Day. After completing school, she intends to come back to her hometown and work at the family drugstore, but not before gaining some experience elsewhere.
"I want to work at Walgreens. I want to do that before I come back here," Armstrong said.
Armstrong does not intend to make pharmacy her life.
"I want to be married with a family in like 10 years," she said.
Armstrong heads off to OSU in the fall.