Makenzie Thompson is an 18-year-old high school senior from South Fulton, Georgia, who has achieved an impressive feat: she has been accepted to 49 colleges and offered $1.3 million in scholarships. She is also the class president, co-captain of the dance team, vice president of Beta Club, and a member of the national honor society. She wants to become a veterinarian and has chosen to attend Tuskegee University, a historically Black school in Alabama, for its renowned animal science program.
Thompson has always been a diligent student who excelled in academics and extracurricular activities. She credits her success to her time management skills and her supportive parents who encouraged her to do her best. “They don’t expect perfection out of me, but they do expect my best effort,” she told TODAY. She applied to 51 universities after attending college fairs and receiving fee waivers. She said that her applications stood out because of her involvement in school and community service. She also said that she was motivated by her love for animals and her desire to help them.
Thompson received acceptance letters from 49 colleges, including prestigious institutions such as Howard University, Spelman College, Hampton University, and Morehouse College. She also received over $1.3 million in scholarship offers from various sources. She said that it was a rewarding experience to see her hard work pay off and to have so many options for her future. “It was a very, very good experience, just to see your hard work paying off and getting to see them just pile up in a folder,” she told CNN.
With an abundance of choices, Thompson chose Tuskegee University, a historically Black university in Alabama. When she visited the campus, “it gave me the feeling that I was at home,” she said. The school also has a strong track record of producing Black veterinarians, which attracted Thompson. “They produce 70% of all Black veterinarians. So it’s the best take for me,” she explained.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average number of college applications per student in the US was 4.1 in 2016. This means that Thompson applied to more than 12 times the national average. The NCES also reported that the average acceptance rate for four-year colleges in the US was 66.7% in 2018. This means that Thompson had a much higher acceptance rate than the national average.
According to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), there were 6,538 applicants for veterinary medicine programs in the US in 2020. Of these applicants, only 2,635 were accepted, resulting in an acceptance rate of 40.3%. This means that Thompson chose a highly competitive field of study.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there were 113,394 veterinarians in the US in 2019. Of these veterinarians, only 2,300 were Black or African American, representing 2% of the total. This means that Thompson belongs to a minority group in her chosen profession.
Thompson should be celebrated for her remarkable achievements and her inspiring goals. She has demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, service, and passion. She has overcome the challenges of applying to multiple colleges and securing financial aid. She has made a wise decision to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian at a reputable university that supports her identity and interests. She has also set an example for other students who aspire to higher education and career success.
Thompson is not only a star student but also a role model for her community. She has shown that with hard work, dedication, and support, anything is possible. She has also shown that diversity and representation matter in every field of endeavor. She has proven that she is going places and making a difference.
Besides being accepted to 49 colleges and winning $1.3 million in scholarships, Thompson has also achieved other honors and awards. According to her LinkedIn profile, she is a recipient of the Georgia Certificate of Merit, the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, the National Society of High School Scholars Award, and the Georgia Scholar Award. She is also a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar and a Gates Scholarship Finalist. These awards recognize her academic performance, leadership potential, and community involvement.
Also in the news is Carcia Carson, a Jackson State University alumnus, has made history by becoming the first Black woman to earn a PhD in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University. Her dissertation focused on engineering cancer cell surfaces with nanomaterial drug carriers to enhance immunogenicity of whole cell-based cancer vaccines.
Carson, who graduated from JSU in 2014 with a BS in physics, said she was inspired by her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis and participation in an immunotherapy clinical trial. She wanted to pursue translational research that could directly impact the treatment and lives of cancer patients.
“I look forward to diversifying my industry and continuing the discussion of representation in high-level research environments,” she said.
Carson joined the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program after completing her undergraduate degree and earned a master’s degree in physics from Fisk University. She then transitioned to Vanderbilt University, where she joined the lab of Dr. John T. Wilson, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Read more about Carcia’s story here.
Makenzie and Carcia are exceptional young women who have accomplished a lot in their academic journey. They are shining examples of excellence, passion, and diversity. They deserve to be celebrated and supported in their future endeavors.