Alumni Profile: Medical School Bound

Class of 2019 grad Celeste G. first heard about the Ann Richards School during 5th grade when founding principal Jeanne Goka visited Barbara Jordan Elementary for a recruitment trip with the other middle schools offering special programs.

The Ann Richards School stood out to Celeste, so she decided to apply and “put all my eggs in the Ann Richards basket” because of all the opportunities available.

Celeste knew she wanted to be a doctor when she was pretty young. The STEM-based academics at the Ann Richards School, specifically the Biomedical Sciences pathway, helped Celeste learn more about the medical field and assure herself that medicine was the career she wanted to pursue.

Fast forward to Celeste’s junior year of high school to internship week at Ascension Seton with the OB/GYN and Cardiology teams. Celeste’s experience seeing everything the doctors managed that week inspired her to commit to medical school after college so she could become a doctor one day.

After graduating from the Ann Richards School, Celeste attended the University of Texas at Austin, and studied International Relations while also taking all the prerequisites for med school.

During her time at UT, Celeste received her Medical Assistant certification and connected with Hope Clinic to gain experience while volunteering.

Hope Clinic is a nonprofit organization in Austin that offers free primary healthcare to resettled refugees, immigrants and other underserved people.

Medical services like chronic disease care, primary care for common illnesses, well-woman exams, basic lab work, and preventative care are all provided by volunteer medical professionals at Hope Clinic to assist neighbors struggling to find affordable medical care.

The mission of Hope Clinic immediately made an impact on Celeste. Sharing, “I love the mission of Hope Clinic – helping the underserved and helping people who didn’t have insurance and who really need the medical attention.”

Celeste volunteered at Hope Clinic throughout her time at UT and continued after graduation in May of 2023 because “volunteering at Hope is like family – I feel like I am going to help, and that really made me fall in love with medicine.”

Executive Director of Hope Clinic, Jodi Schrobilgen, added, “a big part of our mission and vision is to promote volunteerism, whether that’s at the level of doctors, nurses or students – the students who come from UT, St. Ed’s, and other universities in the area, we want them to become whatever medical professional they’re going to become, and then come back to share those incredible skills with the people who need it most.”

Celeste shared, “accessing healthcare and medications is all very daunting, especially to people who have barriers to healthcare, who don’t have insurance, so seeing patients be like, ‘I’m going to be taken care of, I’m going to be fine,’ that’s the most rewarding part.”

In the fall, Celeste will be attending medical school to begin her journey to becoming a doctor so she can come back to Hope Clinic and share all of her incredible skills.

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