Vogel shoots for medical career with NASA
For the Tribune
Jillian Vogel has always had big dreams.
The 17-year-old Chanute High School senior told her parents she wanted to go to Harvard University when she was still in elementary school.
“She’s wanted to go since she was a little girl,” said Nate Vogel, Jillian’s father. “From a young age she just kind of made the decision and stuck with it.”
Her determination paid off. On Monday, the Chanute School Board recognized Vogel for her early acceptance to the Ivy League university.
When she started her college hunt in 2019, she made Harvard one of her first targets. And although she has yet to apply to the other “safety schools” on her list, she’s already received word from Harvard that her application was accepted.
“I originally planned to apply to 12 colleges,” she said. “But then I heard back. It threw me for a loop because you can choose early action and receive back word early. Usually, you have to wait until spring.”
Her admission includes a full-ride scholarship that totals about $60,000 in tuition and living costs.
“Harvard only has a four percent acceptance rate, so you never know how you’re going to stack up, especially against kids applying from places like California and New York,” she said.
For its 2023 graduating class, Harvard admitted slightly more than 2,000 students out of nearly 43,500 applicants, according to information from the school’s website.
There are any number of reasons Vogel might have stood out to Harvard admissions officers. During her sophomore year, she wrote a 10-page research paper on the school in preparation for her future goal. Her father arranged for her to interview Ivy League executives at the company he works for — Rapid SOS — to prepare for the admissions process.
She also organized the formation of a chapter of the Health Occupation Students of America at CHS, helping spearhead the group’s eventual trip to the International Leadership Conference in Florida last year.
It was there that Vogel attended a symposium on the biological aspects of what existing in a zero-gravity environments does to astronauts. The panel would help hone her ultimate career goal — to become a NASA flight surgeon.
“It’s essentially a space doctor,” she said. “Everyone wants to go to space, but I’ve also always wanted to be a doctor. That’s a more practical path to take. But I thought, why not combine them both?”
With such an occupational high bar set before her, Vogel said her choice of college seemed apparent.
“In order to get there, why not apply to the toughest schools,” she said. “This could really give me those opportunities. Saying I went to Harvard might give me that little boost I need.”
Vogel plans to double major in biology and music.
Music student recognition
Vogel was one of many students recognized by the school board during its regular meeting Monday. Also recognized were:
Vogel and fellow CHS student Bryan Ayala, for their selection to Regional Honor Choir
Chanute Elementary students Bailey Brecheisen, Paeton Ellis, Bella Godinez, Laney Hillman, Lauren Lucas, Mylee Miller, Anni O’Dell, Reychell Puckett, Tracy Reeves, Lani Stanfield, Emily Taylor, Tayven Williams and Ethan Wolf, for their selection to District Choir
CES students Stanfield, Nathan Guernsey and Jocelyn Sluder, for their selection to All State Choir
Royster Middle School students Tommy Beasley, Mavery Herman, Colin Keating, Maddie Kepley, Ellie Sheble, Lucy Sheble, Jacqueline Smoot and Rhylee Thompson, for their selection to Sixth Grade District Choir
RMS students Ethan Burnett, Jeanette Guernsey, Scott Smith, Zoie Speaks, Violet Stich and Kayleigh Watts, for their selection to Seventh and Eighth Grade District Choir
RMS students Guernsey, Herman, Smith, Smoot, Speaks, Stich and Sadie Cunningham, for their selection to All-State Honor Choir.