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israel Burnell


Bold Points




My name is Israel Burnell and I have a passion for learning. As a teenager, I often found myself curious about the varying functions of life and why certain things occur. That's how I decided on my major. I'm currently an intended biochemistry major on the Pre-med track, and I love it so far. I grew up in a household that contained only myself and my mother, and the financial strain was real. As an undergraduate student, I now realize how detrimental this was to my education in my primary years. I noticed early on that my classmates who came from wealthier families and schools often outperformed me in my classes. It was a work in progress, but now that I've gotten adjusted to college, I can say that I'm comfortable with my story and the man I've become today. As a first-generation minority student, I'm well aware of how difficult it is for people like myself to succeed. By graduating with a professional degree, I wish to show children in my community that it is possible to achieve great things.


University of Rochester

Associate's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Minors:
    • Health Professions Education, Ethics, and Humanities


  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
    • Biochemical Engineering
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:


    • Merchandise

      Stone Mountain Pak
      2022 – 2022
    • Cashier

      The Fresh Market
      2020 – 20211 year
    • Cashier/Barista

      Panera Bread
      2021 – 20221 year


    Track & Field

    2020 – Present4 years

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Berean Christian Church — I was apart of the team that prepared meals and packaged them for others to send out.
      2017 – 2019

    Future Interests


    Community Reinvestment Grant: Pride Scholarship
    Growing up, I was one of two boys in my immediate family. My father was not in my life, and my only male cousin was very anti-social, so I grew up around girls. As a young, black boy, this was weird. I could never be a part of "girl talk" because boys liked trucks and playing in the dirt. Expressing emotions were a mixture of "She's crying, so I can cry too." and "Men don't cry. Suck it up". The contradictions between what I wanted to do and what was allowed started to appear. I started school, got exposed to other people my age, and gravitated toward girls. Spending more time around girls caused me to pick up on their speech, mannerisms, and interests, causing me to be more feminine than usual. Christianity, Society, The black community in general, and my mother all perpetuated homophobia at a young age, an age at which I first started looking at boys because girls did too. I felt trapped being unable to say what I felt, even though I found guys attractive. I put my feelings and thoughts through a filter that would make me appear more "correct" and masculine. I'd convinced myself that this was the true me and continued this way for years. What started as minor attractions to celebrities on television grew into full-blown lusting over boys. Seeing people explore their sexuality and get hated for it only pushed me further into a shell that I barely fit in. I tried to be more masculine, but the feminine behavior bled into my life whether I wanted it to or not. Hearing "He's gay" or getting called slurs was mortifyingly embarrassing and made me want to prove people wrong even though they were right. I liked boys, but I liked girls too. My being bisexual was out of the window because it "didn't exist" apparently. High school was where I began to break out and explore my sexuality a lot more because of the LGBT presence. In my sophomore year, I accepted my bisexuality, and in my junior year, I came out to some friends. It felt amazing because I had people to talk to about my interests without feeling uncomfortable talking about them. Along with this "awakening", I became painfully aware of how unacceptable this would be to my mom. She's made it very clear throughout my life that she "does not agree with the lifestyle," and I'm not sure how to navigate this next part of my life. In a society where black men being hypermasculine is the only choice, I fail. My dad often tells me stories about how he's never lost a fight or about how he joined the army to teach himself discipline and that I'm nothing like him. He's okay with it, though. He doesn't know about my sexuality, but he's confirmed that he would be fully supportive if I were. That mentality was surprising because I'd never heard a black man ever say anything like it, which is an issue. African Americans have very few advantages, so why create more? Why'd this have to be my story? Why couldn't I have a comfortable childhood like heterosexual people? With my background, I stand out in most places. I want to create environments where kids can grow up comfortably without being killed or kicked out because their parents are unaccepting. I instill this mentality into people around me and encourage them to perpetuate these ideals. When the world moves forward with this idea, we'll be one step closer to peace.
    Bold Growth Mindset Scholarship
    In my opinion, keeping an open mindset means not limiting yourself. It means realizing and acknowledging that there are more ways to perceive things than just how we see them. It means being able to change opinions when presented with new information. I keep an open mindset by never limiting myself. This extends to almost anything. This means that I choose not to believe that anything is conclusive and leave everything up to interpretation. By doing this, I allow input from other people who may be more knowledgeable than I am or offer a perspective that I would not have considered. Keeping an open mindset is important to me because it allows growth. Hearing other opinions and forming new ideas is what is necessary for success in life and socialization.
    SkipSchool Scholarship
    My favorite scientist is Daniel Hale Williams. Williams was an African American doctor who founded the first black-owned and interracial hospital. He also is the first person to perform open-heart surgery. His accomplishments make him my favorite because I want to become a heart specialist and perform open-heart surgery one day.
    Black Students in STEM Scholarship
    I am passionate about STEM because of the opportunities it offers and because of my interest in the field. My interest in the field began when my mom got me a microscope for Christmas that I loved. This festered up my love for science and, I realized that I was particularly interested in biology. Since I also like math, a STEM career would be a dream for me. With a STEM career, I would have the resources and connections to make a change. As a child, I often found myself curious about the varying functions of life and why certain things occur. I've always wanted to learn more about science or the human body. In college, I plan to major in biochemistry, but biology and biomedical engineering are also close choices for me. From there, I want to go to medical school and ultimately become a cardiologist. I feel like being a physician is the perfect career for me because the amount of knowledge required to become one is the level of knowledge and understanding I want to have in science. It also has the perfect amount of social interaction I want to have daily and a pretty good salary. Through studying science in college, I hope to meet other men and women of color who are passionate about learning and extend our passions to our communities that are underrepresented in STEM. I plan to stay in Georgia during college and it is a goal of mine to show other POC that a degree in STEM or a prestigious education is not impossible for them. I used to think that I could not set my goals too high in fear that I would fail, or just purely thinking that I was not smart enough for a high-paying career or an esteemed position. I now realize that nothing is impossible and I want to help other children in my community understand that the only thing holding them back is themselves. Instilling hope and success in African American children is essential for our prosperity. I have a passion for learning, and with it, I plan to do a lot. With an education in STEM, I will do something extraordinary. I will use it to get prestigious positions in the workplace, make the field more accessible to different demographics, and for my own betterment just to name a few things. More ideas and opportunities will come about in the future, and I'll go through with every single one to reach my goal.
    Bold Books Scholarship
    The most inspiring book I’ve ever read was “Like a Love Story” by Abdi Nazemian. This book is about a teenager named Reza who moved from Afghanistan to New York during the 80s. He soon realizes that he’s gay and has to face a lot of turmoil to get through his every day life. This book is inspiring to me because during the 80s, the LGBT community were very disrespected and underprivileged. Almost everyone disliked them and that made it even harder for them to have influence or even basic human rights. Reza had to deal with all of that prejudice while also being a disappointment to his family after coming out. In the end he still went to ACT UP protests and fought for the rights of his people even though he was a very docile person, which I think is very respectable and brave. I can relate to Reza because I see myself in him. We were both very confused about ourselves at early ages and forced a persona that we thought was “correct” instead of trying to be ourselves. I want to be like him. He was confused and thrown into chaos but still made a way and I want to be like that too.
    Endeavor Scholarship
    Hello, I am Israel Burnell. I Live in Snellville Georgia and I go to Arabia Mountain High School-Academy of Engineering Medicine and Environmental Studies. I have a 3.54 GPA and it is my dream to become a cardiologist. Growing up, I always knew that I wanted a career in science, but I never knew what I wanted to do exactly, which is why I'm glad I went to the school I go to now. From my ninth grade year to now, my senior year, I have realized that I want to go into medicine. Specifically cardiology. In my undergraduate studies, I plan to major in biomedical engineering and ultimately receive an MD in medical school. The reason I want to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering is that biology is my favorite science ( I aced my biology and AP biology courses), and I love the medical aspect of the study. I have never taken an engineering class but I also love math and I see myself prospering when put in an environment where I can thrive. It is also a great degree with a lot of internships and high-paying opportunities. I want to shoot high with my undergraduate school and degree because I want to get into a top-tier medical school and have great credentials to match into a good residency. My top schools as of right now are Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology. I would love to go to either of these schools because they both have strong science programs and I'm sure that they would look good to graduate schools that I will be applying to. I plan to join clubs and be active in whatever community I am a part of if I am given the chance. I really need as much financial aid as I can get because my father isn't exactly a financial monument in my life, and my mom pays bills for our house, and her sister's house so she will not be able to help much either. It is a huge goal of mine to graduate with little to no debt so that my medical school loans will not be too overbearing and so that I would have an opportunity to build generational wealth and make money, which my parents were unable to do. I want to give myself what I deserve and never let my mom work another day in her life because she deserves it. She works at least 14 hours a day every day just to allow me to be great, and I do not want to let it go to waste.