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Episode 10: Representation and resilience in medicine

Johnny Powell (2023 cohort), a first-year medical student, discusses being the first in his family to attend an Ivy League school, and his journey to medicine.
KHS logo with "Imagine A World" as text on a blue and red background

In episode 10 of Imagine A World, Johnny Powell (2023 cohort), a first-year medical student, talks about being the first in his family to attend an Ivy League school and his journey to medicine. He also shares tips on how to balance grit with grace and handle bad days as they inevitably come.

Special shoutout to Johnny’s mom, Ms. Tia! “Because of her, we have Johnny.” –Taylor Goss, co-host of Imagine A World.

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Johnny Powell standing with arms outstretched in Stanford's Main Quad

Photo courtesy Johnny Powell

Johnny Powell (2023 cohort), from Greensboro, North Carolina, is pursuing an MD at Stanford School of Medicine. He graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in psychology. Johnny aspires to lead medical practice in underserved communities and drive structural change to make health care more accessible at scale. While at Harvard, he led youth mentorship programming in Boston and Japan, conducted research in the natural and social sciences, and shadowed hospital physicians in Spain.

As president of the Harvard Black Men’s Forum, Johnny implemented lasting infrastructure to promote public service and inclusion. After graduating, he worked as an associate consultant at Bain & Company on health care and social impact projects. Passionate about health equity, Johnny also served as research coordinator for the All of Us Research Program, a national National Institutes of Health initiative to increase diversity in health care research, at the University of Chicago.


two men wearing imagine a world t-shirts seated on stairwell

Imagine A World is hosted by Willie Thompson, left, and Taylor Goss, right. Photo by Micaela Go.

Taylor Goss (2021 cohort), from Lacassine, Louisiana, is pursuing an MA in music, science, and technology and an MPP in public policy at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. He graduated with college honors from Louisiana State University with bachelor's degrees in music and entrepreneurship. Taylor aspires to connect musicians and policymakers, using the arts to communicate societal needs and provoke policy change.

Willie Thompson (2022 cohort), from Griffin, Georgia, is pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in Chinese Studies. He intends to create and contribute to organizations using the arts as a conduit for community building and intercultural education.

Imagine A World's theme music was composed and recorded by Taylor Goss. The podcast was originally conceived and led by Briana Mullen (2020 cohort), Taylor Goss, and Willie Thompson, along with Daniel Gajardo (2020 cohort) and Jordan Conger (2020 cohort).

Special thanks to Sanaa AlamRachel DeschSydney Hunt, Chan LeemKara SchechtmanTakondwa Priscilla Semphere, and Rahul Thapa.

Knight-Hennessy scholars represent a vast array of cultures, perspectives, and experiences. While we as an organization are committed to elevating their voices, the views expressed are those of the scholars, and not necessarily those of KHS.

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