South Carolina woman, Zindzi Thompson, has become the youngest Black female graduate from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.
According to reports, Zindzi graduated from Meharry with her doctorate on May 21, at just 21 years old. She began attending the Tennessee-based medical school five years ago, at the tender age of 16.
“I have always wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. There’s nothing else that I wanted to be,” she told WTVF.
Zindzi is one of at least a dozen of her family members who graduated from Meharry and became doctors. As such, she carries a legacy of Black excellence in her bloodline.
“She’s wanted to be a doctor since she was three years old, and we saw that she was a little bit different starting at three. So since she was three, she’s worked towards this goal,” her mother, Machelle Thompson, said.
At 13, Zindzi enrolled in a gifted program at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia, as she was among 20 brilliant young women selected to earn a four-year degree at the institution.
“A big part of the process has been letting her go and achieve her goal,” her father, Samuel Thompson, said. “That’s been the hardest part. The academics for her and knowing that she was going to do it was easy, but not having your daughter through those years was the hard part.”
Machelle added that she was proud of her daughter for making history.
“She’ll make history,” she told reporters two days before Zindzi graduated. “I think about my ancestors and everything that they went through, and then I look at my daughter, and it’s amazing. It truly is,” said Machelle Thompson.
The 21-year-old will begin her psychiatry residency at Washington University Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis this summer, following her groundbreaking achievement. She also gave some words of encouragement for everyone on their journey to academic success.
“Just don’t give up. Just push through. If you have to re-take a course, re-take it and do better — you can definitely do it. It’s not impossible,” she said.