Karisten Class of 2023
Karisten is a senior with a passion for science, healthcare, and her community. At the Academy, she is co-captain of the debate team, president of the Black Student Union, and film club president. She also serves the Academy community as a peer assistant, student ambassador, and a member of the student equity council.
All the clubs and student life activities offered at the Academy inspired Karisten to get involved. As the president of the Black Student Union, she gets to connect with students with a variety of backgrounds to develop and promote unity On the debate team, she has experienced mock congress, and she started the film club which has given her another opportunity to connect with students who have similar interests.
Not only is Karisten active in her activities and schoolwork, but she is also active as a track and field athlete. This gives her another chance to socialize and participate in an activity that allows her to be active. “Even though I don’t necessarily enjoy running, I always feel better after I do it,” she said. While the Academy has inspired her to get involved, the Academy’s advanced academics and collegiate-style schedule are also preparing her for what comes after high school. “When I go to college freshman year, I think I’ll definitely have a better adjustment with being away from home and doing my homework on my own time and figuring all that out by myself,” said Karisten.
The Academy has provided Karisten with professional connections within the community. Karisten interns with Dr. Wei Shi’s research lab at Ball State University, which has helped her further develop her passion for science. In college, she plans to major in biochemistry or chemical engineering with a track in pre-medicine.
Karisten has known she wanted to go into the healthcare field, but she was not sure of a specific career until she came to the Academy. After researching her options, she landed on dentistry thanks in part to the Academy’s May Term in 2021 when she interned with a dentist. She watched the dentist pull a tooth and immediately became fascinated with oral surgery.
Finding a balance between schoolwork and other activities can be a challenge as a student at the Academy. While she’s still working to do better with her sleep habits, she realized early on that to be successful at the Academy she had to improve her organizational and time- management skills. “You learn that the hard way,” Karisten said. “I started doing my homework as soon as I get it and I stopped procrastinating.”
As someone who knew she wanted to attend a boarding school, Karisten researched several options around Indiana. She landed at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, where she did a deep dive of their social media. She was even able to find other students on social media and see what the Academy was like through another lens. After seeing what the Academy had to offer, she knew it was the right place for her.
Karisten was recently matched with University of Chicago as an early decision admit through the Quest Bridge college matching program. She will attend in the fall of 2023. She felt the Academy helped her by giving her leadership and unique extracurricular opportunities. “I was able to build strong relationships with my teachers here, which resulted in strong recommendations,” said Karisten. She is thankful for Dr. Phillip Lobo, Ms. Stephanie Nagelkirk, and Ms. Meghan Riley for revising her essays, allowing her to be a stronger candidate. We are excited to see what Karisten continues to do after graduation and at the University of Chicago.