Shaniah Singleton knows she has a long academic road ahead of her to reach her goal of becoming a forensic science pathologist.

“It might sound a bit morbid, but I am very interested in trying to figure out the cause of death using various techniques,” said Singleton, who is from the North Lawndale neighborhood and graduated from King College Prep in 2017.

It can take over 10 years to begin a career as a forensic pathologist, including a bachelor’s degree and medical school residency, but Singleton is off to a good start after graduating from Malcolm X as the salutatorian with an Associate of Science in Biology.

The best news for Singleton? She currently has zero student debt due to her Star Scholarship. She is planning to transfer to the University of Illinois-Chicago where she can finish her bachelor’s degree with minimal debt due to a Star transfer scholarship and acceptance in their honors program.

“I always planned this route because I know medical school is going to cost a lot of money,” Singleton said.

Although she took the majority of her classes at Malcolm X, she was also able to take courses online through Harold Washington College and on campus at Daley College to ensure she graduated in a timely manner.

“Without that class flexibility, I’m not sure if I would have been able to graduate on time and be on the path that I am,” Singleton said.

Singleton encouraged all students to continue their education past high school, even if they don’t have a clear career path mapped out.

“Life is full of choices and you have the ability to create your own pathway,” she said. “School is the gateway for opportunities. Even if you aren’t sure what you want to do yet, you never know what professor or what topic will inspire you.”

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