"SHPEP showcased diverse physicians from a variety of specialties."
Kennedy Campbell participated in SHPEP in 2021. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in May 2023. Today, she is Master of Biomedical Sciences Candidate at the University of Chicago.
Kennedy is a current Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Candidate at the University of Chicago. She completed SHPEP at UCLA in 2021. Kennedy founded the Pilsen Promise Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Chicago to address food insecurity in her neighborhood during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. She also serves the SHPEP National Program Office in her second year as a SHPEP Ambassador. After completion of her master’s degree, she plans to attend medical school.
What path did you take when you first started college?
During my undergraduate studies, I majored in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences with a Health Diversity Concentration on the Pre-Medical Track at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. As a pre-med student, I knew that I wanted to become a physician and also help others towards this common goal as well. During my sophomore year, I started a club on campus, Mentors in Medicine, for peer mentorship of pre-medical students. It meant everything to be able to help first-year underclassmen receive guidance in navigating pre-medical studies on such a large campus.
What led to your interest in a health profession?
My interest in the health professions began at an early age, as I saw the downward effects of poverty, food insecurity, and the inaccessibility of healthcare in relation to health outcomes and the overall quality of life of residents in my neighborhood. Experiencing first-hand health disparities is where my interest in healthcare and specifically, preventative measures come from.
What obstacles did you overcome in your educational journey?
As a first-generation college student, I learned so much to navigate college, while also balancing work and extracurriculars as a student leader. I want to emphasize the importance of having a support network consisting of family, friends, professors, and advisors throughout your journey. I have been able to succeed because of my support system. I now mentor first-generation college students and underrepresented students navigating college.
What are your most recent milestones?
My recent milestones include attending the 51st Annual Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It meant so much to be able to attend the national conference, which highlighted the representation of Latinos in medicine. In addition to this, my nonprofit, the Pilsen Promise Project, held an event in which we partnered with a local vendor, More Than Dawgs, to feed refugees at police stations in Chicago. Photos from Pilsen Promise Event
How did SHPEP influence you?
SHPEP influenced and inspired me to continue to pursue a career in healthcare, while also highlighting the importance of giving back to my community and fellow classmates along the way. My SHPEP cohort was a motivated and diverse group of students who helped one another and worked hard to achieve their goals. We learned from each other every day at our sessions, as each one of us comes from various backgrounds. SHPEP also showcased diverse physicians from a variety of specialties. This was my first exposure to different fields in medicine. I look back on my experience, feeling grateful to be a part of this community of scholars.