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Metro Charter Academy Alumni Set to Attend Prestigious Medical Program Was Honored as First Black Salutatorian

One of only 10 students accepted into Wayne State University’s Med-Direct Program

Former Metro Charter Academy student, Shane Tinsley, a recent graduate of Belleville High School, was recently honored as his school’s first-ever Black salutatorian at their graduation ceremony. This honor comes just months after learning that he has been accepted to attend Wayne State University (WSU) as a Cohort in the Med-Direct program. Med-Direct is a unique B.S. to M.D. program that admits 10 students each year to WSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and creates a pipeline for admission to Wayne State's School of Medicine.

Growing up, Tinsley shared that he wasn’t always “the smartest student” but he worked hard and remained dedicated to his education. He learned about the Med-Direct program in his freshman year of high school and set his mind on working to achieve that goal.

“Intelligence is fluid, it’s not something you are necessarily born with but it’s something that you build over time,” said Tinsley. “I am not fixed in any certain state, I can change it, which is what makes me very enthusiastic about my journey. I can build onto what I have right now.”

Before attending Belleville High School, Tinsley spent three years, throughout middle school, learning at Metro Charter Academy. During that time, he participated in the Robotics Club. It was this experience that made him realize he enjoys working with his hands, leading him later to become an active student volunteer for Beaumont Hospital where he volunteered for over two years in the Surgical Center.

Taking inspiration from his former sixth-grade teacher at Metro, Shane aims to pursue academic medicine to teach other students in the future. “I came from a disadvantaged background and that makes me want to teach. Giving back and teaching the next generation of physicians would really impact me to say, ‘I came from a background that wasn’t the strongest, and now I can give that training back to someone else’.”

Tinsley plans to study urology during his time at WSU and hopes to further advance the field through medical research. “I look forward to being immersed in the medical field headfirst,” he said. His plans include one day presenting his research worldwide.

“Shane is a perfect example of an outstanding role model of our younger Metro students,” said Shelli Wildfong, principal at Metro Charter Academy. “With hard work, perseverance, and dedication, he was able to accomplish amazing achievements! He is going to make a difference in this world! I am so proud of him!” 

Wildfong reflected that Metro’s current students find inspiration from alumni like Tinsley, showing them that this is where they could be in four years.

"All our students are so impressed with him and are so proud to see that he's from Metro,” said Wildfong. “It’s great to see our kids out there making a difference in the world. We are so proud of him!"

#Inspriational was the name of Tinsley’s graduation speech, and it couldn’t be a more fitting title to coincide with this young man’s journey.