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3-22-24 — South Senior Finds Career in Medicine through Academy

Bethel holds honor from Celebration of Black ExcellenceMarch 22, 2024 ~ Senior Bethel Yigezu found her dream career path due to her experience at Olathe South High School.

Yigezu is a proud member of the BioMedical Engineering Academy, serving on the leadership team. She is currently ranked 15th out of 445 seniors in her graduating class and holds a 4.47 weighted GPA. Yigezu enjoys honors courses and excels in AP English, AP Chemistry, AP US History, AP Statistics and AP Bio.

Through this work, she is the co-founder and current president of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club at Olathe South. HOSA is a member-led organization made up of students from across Kansas who are interested in pursuing a career in health care. Yigezu is also a member of the Black Student Union. At the Celebration of Black Excellence event in February, she received the Academic Achievement Award for having the highest GPA among Black students in her graduating class. Needless to say, she works hard to reach her goals.

“I love to work hard for things. I think what makes me stand out is not necessarily my intelligence, but rather my ability and willingness to try new things,” Yigezu said. “A lot of students are really smart, but they’re frightened that they’re incapable of reaching their potential, and in reality, they are capable.”

For the first three years in the BioMedical Engineering Academy, students learn presentation skills and soft skills, build resumes and do in-person projects. During their senior year, they get the opportunity to do an internship in the area. Last semester, she was a part of the med-surg nursing unit at Olathe Health and got to sit in on a couple surgeries. This semester, she interned with University of Kansas (KU) Medical Center and got to shadow internal medicine and the urology clinic.

Through the academy, Yigezu was able to discover a six-year medical program at University of Missouri – Kansas City that she hopes to join. Because she is hoping to stay local, she applied to UMKC and is waiting to hear back, though she was accepted into the honors program at KU as a backup.

“It’s through this academy that I even heard about the UMKC program, so it’s really exciting to be a part of,” Yigezu said. “I love my teachers here. They have been super nice and helpful.”

Through her internship, Yigezu became interested in general surgery as a career path not only because of the work, but because the surgeon she shadowed showed compassion when it was needed most. Because of this experience in the BioMedical Engineering Academy, someday she hopes she can provide that high level of care and compassion for those in need in the medical field.

Bethel standing in school hallway“When I shadowed the surgery experience, it was really touching for me because I got to see a general surgeon stand up for a lot of patients,” Yigezu said. “She didn’t have any breaks. She didn’t have to work the whole time, but it was obvious she just cared a lot about them and so she continued to do what’s best for her patients. I want to do that.”