While many teens her age are enjoying prom season and readying for their summer break, 16-year-old LeAnna Roberts is preparing to receive a college diploma. The impressive teen will graduate from the University of Alabaman Saturday. Roberts will graduate summa cum laude with her bachelor’s degree. She plans to continue studying at UA to earn her MBA but she says she won’t stop there. She’s already preparing for medical school and plans to take the Medical College Admission Test this month.

“I’m looking into medical schools in the southeast but will be applying to programs throughout the country,” Roberts said in an interview with the University of Alabama. 

Roberts is the latest example of Black women exceed expectations in education particularly in the medical space.

Tamia Potter

In March, Tamia Potter became Vanderbilt University’s first black woman neurosurgery resident. The Florida A&M University alum was overwhelmed to receive the news on what is known as National Match Day. A social media video of Potter’s reaction quickly went viral. In it you see Potter with friends and family hugging, showing off her match letter and posing for pictures.

Potter graduated summa cum laude from FAMU in 2018. She earned her degree in chemistry and embarked on a journey to find a residency program. Potter says people think historically black universities are synonymous with being less valuable. She told CNN News going to an HBCU shows dreams are possible and attainable. Potter will finish her degree at Case Western Reserve Medical School before heading to Vanderbilt.

Potter says she knows she may suffer microaggressions for her accomplishment with the new school.

“When you walk into the room, everybody thinks you’re a nurse, or they may think you’re a janitor,” she said to CNN. 

Since seeing a Black woman neurosurgeon in medical school, Potter hopes to represent young Black women with her newfound title. 

Shamone Gore Panter

Shamone Gore Panter offers another story of inspiration in the medical space. The Cleveland born, mother of four, decided to enroll in medical school at 43.

The Today Show reported, Panter was intimidated to take the MCAT back in 2007, so she received a doctorate and became a cardiovascular genetics researcher at Cleveland Clinic.  Panter knew Black people seek Black physicians because of “mistrust” and wanted to improve her people’s health.  

She overcame her fears and took the MCAT. Now, Panter is enrolled in a partnership program between Ohio State and Cleveland Clinic. The program allows prospective family practice students to obtain their medical degree in three years.  Even though Panter revealed the past three years studying has been intense, she’s on track to graduate in 2025. Though tackling motherhood and medicine is difficult, Panter insists her sacrifice will “change people’s lives.”