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Kimora Utai


Bold Points






Greetings, I am a rising undergraduate junior, with a Cell/Molecular Biology major and a Health Information Management minor. I aspire to go to medical school and be a part of the advancement of the medical field. Ultimately, I aim to become a surgical oncologist, perform research projects to find preventive measures for those at risk for cancer, and open a cancer clinic to offer affordable and quality treatments for underserved individuals. As a first-generation student, higher education is one of the great "unknowns" in my household. I intend to break the cycle by obtaining my bachelor's and furthering my education to earn my MD. I chose to attend an HBCU (Historically Black College/University) to diversify my educational surroundings. I have learned that in the past 30 years, HBCUs have been underfunded by nearly $12.8 billion. Though they are not being properly acquitted with the same financial resources as non-HBCUs, the students continuously defy the odds and break educational boundaries. HBCUs instill key fundamentals that are needed to prosper in higher education. "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." - George Washington Carver. According to statistics, 47.1 percent of surgical oncologists are Women, 1.8 percent of surgical oncologists are Black/African American, and 0.1 percent of oncologists are Pacific Islanders. I am a first-generation, Black Samoan woman, hoping to defy generational odds and obtain my white coat. With my faith and a hefty amount of studying, I too can leave my imprint on the future of medicine.


Tennessee State University

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
    • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences

Red Bank High School

High School
2018 - 2022


  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
    • Medicine
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Surgical Oncologist

    • Team Member

      Regal Cinemas
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Team member

      Papa Johns
      2020 – 20211 year
    • Team Member

      Splitz Alley
      2019 – 20201 year


    Track & Field

    2018 – 20224 years


    2015 – 20161 year

    Track & Field

    2011 – 202211 years


    2020 – 20222 years


    • Co-Captain


    • Chemistry

      Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation — Research Intern
      2024 – Present
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other

      Meharry Cancer SURP — Intern
      2023 – 2023


    • High School

      The 9 worst breakups of all time
      2019 – 2020
    • Band

      Perfoming as first chair flutist during band practice and at the concerts.
      2018 – 2022

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Miracle League Chattanooga — A buddy
      2016 – 2024
    • Volunteering

      Siloam — Clinic Support Volunteer
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Second Missionary Baptist Church Nursery — Nursery Assistant
      2016 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      YMCA Leadership Club — Member
      2016 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Friends of the Festival — Providing refreshments and assisting guests
      2018 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Wreath Around America — Placing wreaths on the headstones of those who have passed away.
      2016 – 2019
    • Advocacy

      Independent — Advocate
      2019 – Present

    Future Interests



    Philanthropy x Forever 21 Scholarship + Giveaway
    CEW IV Foundation Scholarship Program
    One of the most prone phobias that human beings find themselves falling into is the fear of change. Society should continue wanting to develop new modes to help those who are disadvantaged because it is simply human nature to do so. If the world begins to falter in the ability to feel empathy for another human being then what faith will that leave for future generations? Although the ideals of "survival of the fittest" are far from incorrect, society was blessed with the gift of being intellectuals drawn to using emotion when faced with strenuous decisions. In other words, as society progresses, so should the ways of responding to the problems of the disadvantaged. There is no doubt that society is growing as a collective. Persons of color and first-generation students have undergraduate rates that are growing expeditiously. With that being said, this is developing a desire from many other students with similar backgrounds to follow through with obtaining a degree. Although for some of these students, there remains to be one factor standing in their way, money. Furthermore, financial needs should not be a problem for any student who persistently shows that they can accomplish educationally what other students without the need for financial assistance can do. Their drive and persistent will should only be shining that much more to society because through their struggles they are able to meet the same or above-average educational performance. So why would society want to neglect talent such as this? Talent that is able to prosper even in the face of adversity. Moreover, society should be evolving in its ability to supply equal opportunity to these students. Additionally, minorities are grateful for the improvement society has made thus far, but this momentum should not be stopped because some minorities are not as disadvantaged as they were. As the present generation, change needs to be applied now. Why should society respond to those students who are not disadvantaged the same as those who are disadvantaged? This is not ideal nor is it equal opportunity. In this case, an equal response does not mean equal opportunity because students who are not disadvantaged are already one step ahead of disadvantaged students. While most non-disadvantaged students are free to focus on being full-time students, many students who are disadvantaged are left to worry about how they are going to pay for their education while simultaneously being full-time students themselves. Why should disadvantaged students not have the same right to freely focus on securing a degree? All in all, disadvantaged students are working the extra mile, so society should be able to go the extra mile for them. As more disadvantaged students are coming forward and having faith that they can thrive in higher education, society must be willing to cope with the idea of offering additional support to these students. There cannot be a stunt in progression. A simple way to guarantee that society advances further is by formulating solutions to benefit all students, especially those who do not have the upper hand. To come so far only to stop changing the systems that do not accommodate all students' success is like taking a half-way journey, and stopping before the final destination is reached.
    Delories Thompson Scholarship
    I have been told that oncology is not the path for many, but I know there are no obstacles I cannot overcome with faith, persistence, and perseverance. I want to pursue cancer research ultimately to gain cancer expertise and find preventive measures for those at risk for cancer. When dealing with incurable diseases, there is no limit to researchers needing to battle them. Every additional disease researcher means one more hand willing to find a cause and put a halt to it. Cancer is a foe that kills both the body and spirit, but cancer’s biggest enemies next to the patient are researchers and doctors willing to fight it off. To me, cancer research means that I get to become another one of cancer’s enemies, helping to eliminate the disease and find potential ways to cease it from continuing down my and many others’ bloodlines. I chose to attend an HBCU because being surrounded by peers who look like me and are as driven as me, only motivates me to be better. I truly believe that an HBCU's atmosphere is unparalleled to any other institution's. As minority students, we understand how much harder we will have to work to be seen as equals in the workplace. My student body does not let these standards stop us from accomplishing what others have told us is unachievable. We are determined to open up success to our lives to touch the lives of future Black generations and give back to our communities.
    Eleven Scholarship
    To be fair, none of us knew what we were getting into when we signed up to take AP Language and Composition. No one knew how many breakdowns and sleepless nights it would take to feel accomplished in this one class. No one knew that an English class would push us to be the best versions of ourselves. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, I started my junior year of high school. I would simply summarize junior year as “Hell year.” Nonetheless, to add to my bewildering year, I took AP Lang taught by the Dr.W herself. My AP Lang teacher was a kind, brilliant woman, and I continue to admire her. Though Dr.W was an unbelievably great teacher, her class put me through immense stress. On the first day of class, Dr.W told the class to “forget everything” we knew about writing because we were “most likely taught wrong.” She explained that instead, we would learn how to use “proper syntax and diction.” Many of the students in AP Lang, including the students known as the “top 10,” brushed off the new concepts that Dr.W taught us. On the other hand, I took into account our teacher’s passion for teaching the art of language and literature that was radiating off of her and made sure to listen. Almost three weeks into the year, after we finished reading and analyzing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Dr.W assigned us to write a rhetorical analysis. She told us that our classmates would be reviewing our rough drafts so we should “be prepared.” When it was time, I chose the “top 3” students to review my essay, considering that they were notorious for being the smartest in the grade. All three of them declared that my analysis needed many revisions, but none of them could tell me the specifics that needed to be fixed. I became very frustrated with myself and spent hours at home working on my essay. The day before our rough draft was due, Dr.W notified us that we would be doing classmate analyzing again. Desperately craving approval, I went to ask the same people to review my paper. They began to make unpleasant faces and brutally critiqued my writing, but when I analyzed their writing, they brushed me off as if my word was less valuable than theirs. Later that day, choosing to ignore their condescending attitudes, I looked over Dr.W’s writing PowerPoint and revised my essay based solely on her words. The following week of school, my class anxiously awaited our grades. I panicked after hearing Dr.W announce that only one person received an A. She continued to add, “The person who exceeded my expectations will be receiving a gold star for their diligent work ethic and understanding of rhetoric.” After contemplating who it could be for the next few minutes of Dr.W’s speech, I resorted to laying my head on my desk in disappointment. All of a sudden I felt a tap on my shoulder, and when I looked up there was a tiny gold star-shaped sticker resting on my shoulder. On that day, I stopped doubting my abilities and potential. I even ceased my negative thoughts and stopped comparing myself to others. Dr.W helped me to realize that even the wittiest of people can be wrong and that she was the only teacher in that class. In essence, I learned to never let any person make me feel inferior, no matter who they are.