'I Could Not See Myself Anywhere Else,' Says Holy Cross Graduating Senior From Ghana

Edith Mensah Otabil '19. Photo by Avanell Brock

Worcester Magazine

Ever since she was a child in Ghana, Edith Mensah Otabil '19 has dreamed of becoming a doctor, so that she could help people. With just days to her graduation from Holy Cross, she sat down with Worcester Magazine to talk about her journey and career aspirations.

Otabil, who arrived in Worcester from her native Ghana in 2012 to join her mom, has had a challenging path. But after she excelled at Burnoat High School, and with encouragement from guidance counselors there, she found her home on Mount St. James.

"I found it a very special place when I came here for an interview. I felt like I belonged here," she said, adding she applied on early decision, meaning if she was accepted, she would have to attend. "Looking back on my experience and reflecting on everything I did here, I could not see myself anywhere else."

Otabil, a biology major on the Health Professions Advising track and a first-generation college student, made the most of her time at Holy Cross, from creating the "Students of Color in STEM" group, to gaining valuable mentors. Through an internship offered by the College's Alumni Job Shadowing Program, she met Dr. John Kelly, a 1988 Holy Cross graduate and chief of general and minimally invasive surgery at UMass Medical Center.

Dr. Kelly, who was immediately impressed with Otabil, said that without a doubt she has what it takes to make a good doctor someday. "She'll be great at taking care of people and patients, and whatever she does, because it's a great human nature that she has," Dr. Kelly added.

After graduation, Otabil plans to work at UMass Medical School for two years, followed by medical school, in hopes that one day she can return to Ghana and help improve the country’s healthcare system.

To read the full story, go to WorcesterMag.com.