The nationally competitive Teach for America program placed Honors Scholar Justin Wellum among the ranks of the top 14 percent of applicants chosen to begin their career in education by traveling the country. TFA will take Wellum to Phoenix, Arizona, to teach high school chemistry for two years.
“This experience will allow me to grow, think critically, and stretch me beyond my comfort zone,” Justin said in an email.
This is just one piece of Justin’s plan. As a pre-med major, Justin’s experience in TFA will help him achieve his eventual goal of becoming an Infectious Disease Physician. He hopes to work in developing countries to promote preventive medicine and health education.
Justin became aware of how seriously common bacteria affect the infrastructure of developing countries through his internship experience at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Kenya. He also attributes his passion for education to his involvement as a Resident Advisor for the Governor’s Scholars Program.
“After spending a summer mentoring and working with some of the best and brightest students in the state of Kentucky, I developed a passion for education and inspiring others to achieve their dreams,” Justin said.
Since his freshman year Justin considered applying for a Fulbright, but was nervous about the qualifications and process associated with the application.
After working with Dr. Grimsley-Smith with the Office of Scholar Development, Justin gained enough confidence to submit a Fulbright application. “She encouraged me to follow my passions and to apply for a program that would fit into my future career goals,” he said.
Justin’s application requests a Fulbright UK Research Grant to study at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to earn a MSC in Biology and Parasite Disease Vectors.
Justin thanks the Honors College at WKU, the Office of Scholar Development, and the Governor’s Scholars Program “…for providing the motivation and desire to really seek ways to maximize my impact on those around me and to never say ‘Can’t’ but to instead say, ‘Why not?’”