“I am not afraid to admit that things can be hard, yet I help my son to see that sometimes the hardest things to do are the most worthwhile and that it is important not to give up just because something is tough.”
Lacey Kirchen is earning her bachelor’s degree in biomolecular science with a gender and health minor, in pursuit of her dream of becoming a doctor. A first-generation student, Lacey always knew she wanted to work in healthcare, but she had lacked the support and confidence to pursue higher education. Nonetheless, in 2016—eleven years after her high school graduation—Lacey decided to make a brave leap and pursue her dream. She enrolled at Lansing Community College and made a commitment to herself to stay in school while raising her young son and working full-time. Even when the pandemic forced Lacey to take time away from school to care for her son, she persisted and returned a year later.
Completing a degree as a student parent is far from easy, and every step of the way, Lacey has taken time to reconfirm that her goal of becoming a doctor is what she wants and that her path is building a better life for both herself and her son. She reflects, “I am not afraid to admit that things can be hard, yet I help my son to see that sometimes the hardest things to do are the most worthwhile and that it is important not to give up just because something is tough.” Lacey graduated summa cum laude with her associate degree and received the award for Outstanding Student in Chemistry.
She is now furthering her education at U-M, where she is involved on campus with the Global Scholars Program, Archery Club, M-LEAD, Michigan Active Citizens Alternative Spring Break, and Women in Science and Engineering.. Lacey works at Kellogg Eye Center as a clerk in surgery scheduling. She also continues to serve as a tutor at Lansing Community College, an experience that has strengthened her desire to eventually teach and mentor new doctors.
CEW+ commends Lacey’s perseverance and names her an Irma M. Wyman Scholar.