Freshman Gets Personal with Biomedical Students


By Alex Kopish, Editor in Chief

It’s not often that you walk into a classroom to find a freshman student teaching the juniors and seniors.

Today West freshman Jake Clemetson stood confidently in front of several biomedical science classes, teaching the upperclassmen normally led by science instructors Patricia Noonan and Stacy Apazeller.

Currently, the biomedical students are being taught about diabetes and how it affects the human body. The students have an upcoming project that requires the students to pretend they are informing patients about life with diabetes. Clemetson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was seven years old.

“He’s had it long enough that he knows a lot about it,” Noonan said. “He’s very mature about it.”

Up in front of the class, where most would feel uncomfortable, Clemetson was very confident speaking about his personal experiences. “It’s not like it’s a traumatic experience,” he said.

“I feel like I may be breaking the stereotype about diabetics.”
– Jake Clemetson, West freshman

“I haven’t had bad experiences with upperclassmen,” Clemetson said when asked if he was nervous teaching the upperclassmen. “I feel like I know a lot more than them about this,” he said. “It felt good to answer their questions.”

And it clearly showed that Clemetson felt comfortable teaching the class. Several times the freshman cracked a small joke and had the class laughing along. Clemetson also did an outstanding teaching job, however. “This particular [story] really related to the project [students] have,” Noonan said. “It’s better for understanding.”

“I feel like I may be breaking the stereotype about diabetics,” Clemetson said. “Sometimes I forget that I have diabetes when I’m out.” Clemetson said his emphasis was teaching the class that he can still eat and do what he wants with diabetes and he lives out a normal life.

“A lot of the questions are questions I’ve been asked before,” Clemetson said.

Noonan was excited about how well Clemetson did in front of the class. “He’s super healthy and super conscientious,” Noonan said.

(Photo courtesy of Patricia Noonan.)

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