Nell Williams

2023 - ST. LOUIS

Nell Williams is a senior at Parkway South High School in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to activism holding an important place in her life, she has also always loved STEM, and by combining those passions, she got involved in research and community groups that advocate for people of color (POC), and especially Black women, in medical spaces. In her junior year, Nell started an independent research project as a part of her Spark! Bioscience class that studied medical equity and medical trust within communities of color of the past and present. She did not want to stop this work when the class ended, and has therefore continued the research into the present day, with hopes to extend it to college as well. So far, Nell has created a survey to collect testimonies from POC and their experiences in medical spaces, started a podcast, communicated possible solutions of medical mistrust with local organizations and written a research paper as a part of this project. Nell feels especially honored to have collected those testimonies from her survey and believes each respondent felt comfort in knowing that their stories would be heard, because even when doctors don’t listen, this survey did. Nell believes that this research is essential in breaking the cycle of medicine failing their POC patients and that medical ethics is a discussion that should involve more POC representatives. She hopes to use her future education in political science to create legislation that requires empathetic/inclusive patient care training and focuses on giving equal access to medicine for all communities. In addition to this research, Nell is a proud assistant director of the Diversify Our Narrative National Outreach Team, co-founder of her school club Speak Up, and chair of the Patrior Representatives (PREPS) Service Team at her high school.