2014 Minnesota Award Recipients

Student Readiness Award Recipient: Sandra Yimbo

Photo of Sandra Yimbo First lady Michelle Obama made it clear that if America is to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we need to clear hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Sandra Yimbo, Minnesota Student Readiness award winner, is doing her part to overcome hurdles and to achieve her goal of becoming a surgeon.

The value of education was instilled upon Sandra from a young age. Sandra was five when her family moved to the United States from Kenya in search of better educational opportunities. “Sandy seems motivated to achieve her dreams because of her interest in medicine. Additionally, she has a deep-rooted commitment to achieve due to the sacrifices she has witnessed her parents experience,” wrote Principal Robert Perdaems in Sandra’s nomination form.

Sandra’s dream of becoming a surgeon has shaped her academic coursework. Her drive has led her to take rigorous classes to meet the requirements for admission to a medical degree program. Sandra credits her success to her teachers, believing that having educators who challenged her to do her best has helped her become a better student. Outside of the classroom, Sandra spends her time on the tennis courts, leads various student organizations, works a part-time job, and spends her breaks at Vacation Bible School working as a counselor.

Sandra has demonstrated her commitment to career and college readiness by expanding her education beyond the traditional classroom setting. She has enriched her coursework by taking hands-on training in First Aid/CPR, 1st Responder, and is a certified Nursing Assistant. To gain a better understanding of the work practiced in the medical field, Sandra also volunteers at a local hospital.

As Perdaems states, “Sandy Yimbo is someone who has the qualities to someday be a talented, compassionate physician.”