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Melinda Kassandra Lopez: Setting Goals & Crushing Them!

melinda lopez10/25/17
Melinda Kassandra Lopez is only just getting started!  At 16 years of age, she is slated to graduate twice from college, Minnesota West specifically, before her high school graduation in the spring of 2019. 

The 16 year old Minnesota West PSEO student from Truman, MN began her student career at Minnesota West last year at the age of 15. She is currently in Minnesota West’s Practical Nursing Program, which she will complete this May. She will move on to her Associate of Science Nursing Degree next year and is on track to graduate in May of 2019, all before her high school graduation!

Lopez also comes with an impressive resume. She currently attends Fairmont High School in Fairmont, Minnesota where she has been heavily involved in extracurricular activities such as varsity softball, a spokesperson for the Youth Coalition Against Substance and Drug Abuse, Martin County as well as taking a number of AP classes. She pairs this with her demanding nursing program coursework at Minnesota West, where she is also the Vice President of Minnesota West’s student senate on the Worthington Campus. She was recently elected as one of nine governing council members for LEAD MN, a group that represents over 180,000 two-year college students in the State of Minnesota.

Melinda Lopez began her journey as a PSEO student at Minnesota West last year. She was drawn to Minnesota West by the Nursing Program. Melinda relayed, “I am a healer, a helper, and I want to save lives and change the world.”  Step one included becoming a nurse. She had done her homework and learned that our Nursing Program had received accolades for our national licensure examination pass rate being 95.56% for Practical Nursing students in 2016. She made the decision and applied to Minnesota West as PSEO student with intention of also becoming a student in our Nursing Program. At the same time, she had decided to apply to Minnesota West, she also completed her application for a Summer School Program at Harvard University. That’s right, Harvard University, as in the one located in Cambridge, MA.

Lopez soon learned she had been accepted to both. She would attend Minnesota West as a PSEO Nursing Program student and begin her education working towards her ultimate goal of becoming an Obstetric Pediatric Surgical Gynecologist. She would also attend Harvard summer school, which she did last summer (2017), taking two courses - Neurobiology and Writing and Literature. She was honored to be accepted to the summer school program at Harvard. The process is rigorous and entry was difficult. She was one of the first students to apply for the 2017 summer program and was honored to join students from all over the world. During the demanding Harvard Summer School Program, she said she definitely learned to manage herself and her time wisely which benefits her currently in all aspects of her busy life.

Of Minnesota West, she says I feel a “good vibe from the community and the campus” and felt like “everyone is working with me towards my goals."  Minnesota West has “been a great way for me to transition to a new mindset, mature academically, grow as a person and prepare me for the next step."

Melinda’s educational and career goals are well defined and she has definitely shown drive and determination in achieving them. Her dream is to earn her nursing degrees at Minnesota West, graduate high school next year from Fairmont High School with the class of 2019, and enter Harvard University as an undergraduate in the Fall of 2019 to continue her education. Melinda has wanted to become a doctor since the age of four, and after witnessing the miracle of life when her siblings were born, she realized she wanted a career in pediatrics and gynecology, specifically. She is well on her way! We are proud to have Melinda as a student here at Minnesota West learning with purpose.  We look forward to celebrating her future achievements!