Sonali Sharma: Images and Medicine

A profile on CKHS Senior, Sonali Sharma, and her ventures in both medicine and photography


Sarah Kathryn Wainwright

Portrait of Sonali Sharma

by Jessica Gordon, Editor-in-Chief

Central Kitsap High School senior, Sonali Sharma, made a mark on many fellow senior’s school years – as odd as the year has been. Alongside being a full-time student, Sharma is a photographer and has been offering senior portraits for free.

“Some students don’t want to pay so much professional photos which is completely understandable and a lot of seniors have confided in me that having a professional take their photos can be very intimidating,” Sharma shared on the topic. “I just wanted to offer a service that would be available to anyone that either wasn’t comfortable spending that much money and wasn’t comfortable interacting with a professional.”

Sharma’s passion for photography began when she attended a photography class with her sister, Sarah Wainwright, when she was a student at the now-closed Art Institute of Seattle.

“As a photographer myself, It was so sweet for me when she picked up a camera and began her own journey with creating images,” elaborated Wainwright in a statement on Sharma. “I’ve taught her much of what I know along the way, it’s a lovely thing that we can relate upon.”

Sharma’s passion for photography and the arts is met with polarity with her passion for biology and medicine. As a high school senior looking toward the future, Sharma plans to study medicine and has expressed interest in cardiology.

Sonali Sharma and her father, Dr. Pankaj Sharma (Laurie Sharma).

“So, I was really passionate about art – but in sophomore year I took Honors Biology, and it really sparked my interest in scientific related things and made me realize how much I enjoyed following my dad around the hospital,” detailed Sharma, whose father is Gastroenterologist Dr. Pankaj Sharma.

Along with expressing her interest in medicine and photography, Sharma stated that her three biggest inspirations are her older sister – Sarah Wainwright as formerly quoted, her father – Dr. Pankaj Sharma, and actress Emma Watson – Sharma added with a laugh.

“I grew up really loving Harry Potter and I really liked her as an actress,” Sharma elaborated on the idol. “I learned that she really prioritized her education and advocated for women’s rights and I just found it really admirable about all the work that she’s done for social justice.”

Sharma’s passion for education and women’s rights have been a driving force in her medicinal journey. Sharma elaborates on and expresses her passion about representation in the medical field in her essay, What Role Does Representation Play in Medicine, as published on her blog.

From left to right, Emmalee Peck, Ronan Horn, and Sonali Sharma (Sonali Sharma).

Classmate and personal friend, Ronan Horn, detailed on his relationship and admiration for Sonali in a statement similar to sister Wainwright.

“I think the fact that we both want to be doctors has brought us closer together. We work together on homework in our classes and help each other figure out complex things,” shared Horn on the friendship. “Son[al]i is really passionate about people in many different ways…healthcare or human rights, she always advocates for helping others. She’s very empathetic and has a keen eye for details which is always good for a doctor to have. She honestly inspires me to do my best with her ambition and work ethic.”

Sharma is only 18 and appears to have a strong plan for her future, despite the obstacles – like COVID-19 – that have introduced themselves in this past year.