Written by: John Nee '93
Karl Wilson (Sutherland Elementary School, Chicago) has known since he was a freshman at St. Rita that he wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. Karl discussed the possibility with a friend of his father who is an orthopedic surgeon. After that conversation, he was fully convinced of his career path in life. From there, Karl found an orthopedic surgeon by the name of John McClellan, who lives near him, so that he could shadow him in his practice on 111th and Cicero. This experience only fueled his love of the field and his desire to pursue his ultimate goal.
This past January Karl was introduced to a program, the I Am Abel Foundation, dedicated to inner-city youth who have the desire and dedication to pursue a job in the field of medicine. Through a branch of the I Am Abel Foundation called The Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program, Karl was partnered with a mentoring internist in March by the name of Dr. Ibrahima Diop. They meet in restaurants or email or text once or twice a week to discuss different aspects of the medical field. Some of the advice Karl has received from Dr. Diop is that “school is more important than anything,” and “anyone can become a doctor if they are willing to do the work.”
Knowing that college and medical school can be very difficult to manage financially, Karl started researching scholarship opportunities on-line over the summer, and he discovered the Posse Foundation, which offers full scholarships to promising students. The Posse Foundation, over the past 27 years, has partnered with 57 colleges and universities in the nation. In order to be considered for a Posse Scholarship, the student must be nominated. Dr. Lamanta Conway, director of The I Am Abel Foundation, nominated Karl, and thus the process began.
This past Monday Karl travelled to downtown Chicago along with over 100 other nominated high school seniors from the Chicagoland area to take part in group discussions and team-building exercises. Representatives from Posse observed the students, and from there will recommend which students advance to the second round of the competition, which will be a one-on-one interview with the representatives from the Posse Foundation. If Karl is lucky enough to advance, he will have to endure three rounds of competition before the recipients are finally announced.
Karl, who carries an impressive 3.8 GPA at St. Rita, would love to attend Northwestern University or Howard University to begin the pursuit of a medical degree. No matter where he ends up after his days at St. Rita---he will be a success.