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Michelle Zhang

Youth Advocate,
Future of Healthcare

Michelle Zhang is a student based in the Bay Area with passions for biology, psychology, and forensics. She hopes to one day influence positive change in the healthcare system. 

 

When Michelle was six or seven, she scraped her knee while playing tennis. Her dad brought her to the nearest hospital, hoping for a short line. What they found instead was a sea of people, all waiting for basic treatment for an ailment or a remedy to a life threatening condition. While her dad waited in line, Michelle heard him talking to an elderly grandmother. She had dressing wrapped around her head, and it had splatters of blood on it. The grandma told Michelle’s dad about falling and hitting her head on the stair railings at her apartment. She had just begun to get her treatment, but due to insufficient funds, her treatment had to stop. Now that she had collected enough money, she supposed that she would get her treatment back right away, yet long waiting hours impeded her ability to get care. While Michelle was able to get her medicine quickly, she learned that others are not as lucky as her. After researching our healthcare system, Michelle was left shocked with what she discovered. People could spend up to weeks and months in hospitals, waiting on necessary treatments or surgeries that determine the life or death of an individual. Michelle found it extremely hard to believe that our healthcare system throws citizens into a state of desperation that forces them to cough up their life's savings on a surgery. If people cannot do that, they perish or are forced into a cycle of debt and economic burden. She does not understand why our healthcare system allows the rich to live, but watches the poor die. Her firsthand experiences in hospitals exposed her to crippling issues with our healthcare system, and Michelle hopes that in the future, she can be the one to drive positive change. 

 

Whether she is In or out of school, Michelle aims to further her intellectual curiosity. Academic wise, Michelle is a passionate learner with a keen interest in biology. She constantly challenges herself by participating in various biology olympiads. Beyond the classroom, she is an active member of her debate team, where she has excelled in Congressional Debate and Lincoln Douglass. Michelle is also part of her school’s GIDAS club, further expanding her knowledge in biology. Away from the classroom, Michelle is dedicated to making a difference in the world of health. She is part of the American Cancer Society Youth Ambassadors (ACSYA), and dedicates her time to lead and organize health conferences, as well as host monthly meetings, where she works alongside her mentors and peers to plan and execute events centered around the youth. When she is not pursuing academics or health advocacy, Michelle enjoys unwinding by binging her favorite shows, playing tennis, or spending time with her friends and family. 

 

Looking towards the future, Michelle hopes to pursue a major in biology or forensics, with a goal of becoming a health professional through a BS/MD program. She aspires to effect positive change in the healthcare system, and is particularly interested in addressing issues concerning affordability, equity, and transparency.

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