Meet Talent Garden graduate Stella Wright
A graduate of Hennepin Healthcare’s Talent Garden internship program was in the news earlier this year for being a 2023 National Finalist as well as winner of the Poetry Ourselves spoken word competition in Washington D.C. Her poem is called The Season of Being. Stella Wright completed the Talent Garden program internship during the summer of 2022. Some may not see the connection between poetry and medicine, but for Stella, the two go hand in hand.
“Poetry and being a doctor both work towards helping – in different ways, of course. But both involve empathy and communication and understanding,” says Stella. “As a poet, you can see the world through such an interesting lens, and this can help you better see the patient’s perspective so you’re more understanding of wherever their background is from.”
Stella first heard about the Talent Garden internship after attending Black Women with Stethoscopes – a Talent Garden event where youth meet and hear from Black female healthcare professionals while engaging in hands-on activities using the actual tools of healthcare.
For Stella, the event was a helpful and immersive experience that empowered attendees to see themselves in healthcare careers.
“The medical system is a hierarchy – there are people who have privileges that are gonna have a leg up…some people don’t even know they can reach for these careers or know they have an interest in it because there is such a gap between cultures and opportunities for people,” says Stella. “Programs like this are really great because it helps people think, ‘Oh, I can do this, this is a possibility for me.’”
As a Talent Garden intern, Stella and others in her group heard from medical professionals across the spectrum of care on a variety of topics. “It really opened your eyes to all of the jobs that there are in medicine.”
Interns were also able to speak to current medical students and asked questions about applying for medical school and what they should be doing now in high school and in the future during college to make themselves stand out.
Because Stella already knew she wanted to become a doctor, she found shadowing physicians with one-on-one time very impactful.
“I’ve always wanted to help people, and I’ve always had an interest in the human body and ways that we can prolong our health…[the internship] was the most amazing experience ever because it really does show you exactly what being a doctor is.”
Something that surprised Stella during her internship was the inclusive, welcoming learning environment at Hennepin Healthcare.
“I know that at some hospitals attendings can be difficult, or they can treat their residents poorly, but I truly believe that the doctors at Hennepin Healthcare really wanted the residents to learn, and they wanted to truly include the medical students – even me.”
Stella graduated from Armstrong Senior High School this past June and will be attending the University of San Diego as a biology major in the fall. She is interested in both dermatology and gastroenterology as specialties. In regards to dermatology, Stella is particularly interested in surgery – something she learned after attending Black Women with Stethoscopes.
Stella’s experience as a Talent Garden intern and the medical professionals she met along the way helped her to know that a career in medicine is what she is destined to do.
“It’s that perseverance and experiencing everything day by day that really made me realize, ‘Okay, yes, this is gonna be a journey, but it’s doable.’ And they reaffirmed me. They reaffirmed that over and over, which was really cool too.”