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Alumnae Stories

Alumna Who Experienced Homelessness Earns Full Ride to Yale Medical School

August 2019

Spelman Alumna Chelesa Fearce Heads to Yale Med SchoolChelesa Fearce, C’2017, is a true testament to overcoming unfair odds. The former biochemistry major is now a Yale Medical School graduate student with a full scholarship and a stipend to cover living expenses. Her accomplishment is a long way from being a homeless high school student who studied by the stove light at extended-stay motels in Clayton County, Georgia.

“Homelessness taught me how to work hard, always persevere and never let anything get in my way,” Fearce told The Atlanta Journal- Constitution recently. While at Spelman, she had her sights set on earning an M.D./Ph.D. in pharmacology and beginning a career as a psychiatrist. Those plans have not changed. She still plans to develop safer, more affordable treatments for psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.

VIEW VIDEO: Fearce Discusses Research Experiences at Spelman

While a student a Spelman, Fearce was featured in a video where she discusses her experience in the R.I.S.E. program. The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement program is designed to give students structured biomedical research-training program who want to pursue a career in biomedical research.