For Chelsea Batista, ’17 (Brooklyn College) the goal was to get accepted to at least one medical school. She had applied to quite a few, aiming high, but with modest expectations. In the past few weeks, the Brooklyn College senior so far has received acceptance letters from 11 medical schools, and she’s still reeling.
“When the first acceptance came in from SUNY Downstate, I thought, ‘Thank goodness, at least now I know I’m going to medical school no matter what.’ But then a few weeks later, more started coming in and I didn’t expect it to be so great. With all that hard work I put in, studying all night—it was all worth it.”
Chelsea has received acceptances from Albert Einstein, Columbia, Weill Cornell, Drexel, Hofstra, Howard, Mount Sinai, New York University, SUNYs Downstate and Stony Brook, and Tufts. She has been awarded full tuition scholarships at four of the schools that have accepted her–including Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, which she has decided to attend. The school is also paying her room and board.
“I am most proud of achieving my goal I’ve been working towards for so long and becoming a role model for my younger siblings and my little cousins. My accomplishments have opened them up to the many careers they could pursue, no matter their background. Because of what I’ve done, they no longer look at being a doctor or lawyer or engineer as a pipedream, but a possibility.”
Chelsea’s roots are humble. She is the daughter of parents who immigrated from the Dominican Republic. Academically, her parents had set the achievement bar quite high.
“Both of my parents immigrated to New York from different parts of the DR: my mom from La Villa Alta Gracia and my dad from La Vega. They grew up in large, low income families and yet both managed to become the first in their families to get college degrees. My mom is one of the directors of the College NOW program at Kingsborough Community College and my dad was an NYPD detective.”
As a result, Chelsea says that she and her four siblings all dream big—with goals of becoming either a doctor, an engineer, a video game designer or president of the United States. While at Macaulay, the Brooklyn Tech HS graduate also broadened her interests beyond the classroom (including being on the Dean’s List). Through her work as head of the Philanthropy Committee in her sorority, Chelsea has hosted Breast Cancer Awareness workshops. She also was a SPARK Mentor, where she worked to raise awareness in the young adult community by promoting anti-drug, anti-alcohol and substance abuse practices and prevention measures.
“I believe that if you want to invest in something, you should invest in people. I have invested a lot in the people around me and what I have gained from[that] is part of the reason I have accomplished as much as I have today.”
Chelsea majored in Biology but still has found time for lighter fare. In her spare time, she says she always has been an avid reader and is actually working on writing a fantasy fiction novel. “I’ve decided time was never going to find me, so I found the time. It’s probably my favorite way to pass the time, besides reading.”
A significant part of her achievement at Macaulay is a result of the community of high achievers who have inspired her.
“The friends I’ve made and the people I’ve met through Macaulay are kind and supportive and ambitious—exactly the kind of people I love to have around me because we all motivate each other. No matter the major or the accomplishment, we all encourage each other to continue to be as amazing as we strive to be. It was by far the best part of the experience for me, because it made my college experience worthwhile.”
Chelsea is next looking forward to beginning her first year of medical school at Columbia, and meeting “other brilliant and wonderful people, like the other students I’ve met at Macaulay and at Brooklyn College.”