On the Right Path: Finding Your Passion

Leanna Hansen, currently a junior at Topeka High School, is not your average student. Since the 7th grade, Leanna has attended the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers (TCALC) where she enrolled in the College Prep Pathway. This was an opportunity for Leanna to gain extended knowledge while starting her journey of becoming a high school student, and eventually, a college student. “One of the perks College Prep gives you, is you can get into one of the other Pathways a little earlier,” said Leanna, “It’s a good class to put on a resume or a college application.”

Thanks to starting at TCALC in middle school, Leanna was able to enter the Medical Professions Pathway during her sophomore year in 2021. Through this pathway, she found her calling – Forensic Anthropology. Leanna said in this particular unit, they are taught how to study bones in order to find out certain characteristics of someone such as: age, height, ethnicity, sex, etc. “I thought that was really cool and wanted to do more with that!”

When asked what made her so sure that this was the field for her, Leanna said she has brought her research outside of the class and spends time at home diving deeper into forensic anthropology to understand it further. “Plus, watching the shows that I watch, it just seems like it would be a really good fit… I’ve liked science and medical stuff for a while and solving crimes.” Leanna thanks her mother for her obsession with investigative crime shows like NCIS and Rizzoli & Isles.

What’s next for Leanna? “I’m currently in the process of trying to get an internship [with Stormont Vail Health]. I’ve turned in my resume and they liked my application, so they’re going to do an interview with me some time soon. You can go through a rotation of the different jobs that [Stormont Vail] has and find what you like and what best suits you… I’m thinking maybe Lab Tech or Specimen Processing,” she said. “If you really want to go into the medical field, you’ll definitely find something [at TCLAC] that you’re interested in and they will get you opportunities to do those things.”

Leanna was thankful for the experience of presenting at the Community Breakfast hosted by the Topeka Public School Foundation. This breakfast celebrates those who support local students and schools and gave Leanna the chance to speak on her opportunities at TCALC and her plans to intern with Stormont Vail.

We are proud to partner with TCALC in order to help provide more students, like Leanna, extra educational enrichment.

We wish Leanna well through her future endeavors and can’t wait to see what her future holds.