By Dominique Mack
Michelle Wilson is a junior pre-medicine biology major who has already been admitted into medical school thanks to an innovative scholars program at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).
Through a partnership with Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Medical Scholars Program incorporates a rigorous curriculum and course load similar to medical school. Students who successfully complete the four-year program are then admitted into FAU’s College of Medicine.
As a high school student, Wilson proved early on that she was destined for greatness, graduating top of her class from Miami Lakes Educational Center in 2013. Upon graduation she was offered a full scholarship to attend FAMU, along with a life changing opportunity.
Michelle was a member of the first cohort of students selected for the collaborative program, and was the very first member of her class to be accepted.
“I was overly excited. I remember being in a state of extreme happiness because I was the first one accepted. It was as if everything was falling into place for my future,” Wilson said.
Since entering the program as a freshman, Wilson has managed to maintain a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in all of her classes. Along with being a full-time student she currently works as a part-time pharmacy technician at Walgreens. Wilson is also a teacher’s aide, member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and president of the African Student Association.
“It’s a sacrifice, a lot of sleepless nights, but it’s worth it,” said Wilson.
On Jan. 27, the 220 Quarterback Club awarded Wilson with the Rattler Spirit Award along with a $500 check. The club originally created the award to acknowledge FAMU supporters and their contributions to FAMU athletics. It was the first time the Rattler Spirit Award was given to a student for academic achievement.
“I was very excited. I was not expecting a $500 check; winning the award was enough for me.” Wilson said.
Eddie Jackson, president of the 220 Quarterback Club, said he first heard about Wilson and her accomplishments in a news release from the University and recalled some of the initiatives made by President Elmira Mangum and her goal of getting students to graduate on time and strive for greatness.
“I was moved by her commitment and hard work. Maintaining a straight ‘A’ average with the curriculum she has is very, very difficult,” Jackson said.
Wilson remains humble about all of her success, and in a field dominated by White and Asian men, she is very proud of being one of the very few Black females in a STEM program.
“I feel like anything is possible, especially for Black women. They shouldn’t be afraid. Women shouldn’t be afraid of the sciences. You just have to work hard,” she said.
Wilson credits her mother and sister as being two of her biggest inspirations. Her sister, who is a graduate of FAMU’s Pharmacy program, is one of the reasons she chose to enter the medical field. Michelle’s mother has inspired her to build a health clinic in her homeland of Nigeria, and reminds her everyday to “let go and let God.”
Wilson said she is looking forward to attending medical school at FAU, where she plans to study internal medicine.