• Kaki Bennett, senior
  • Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
Kaki Bennett
Kaki Bennett

Kaki Bennett doesn’t shy away from the fact she has diabetes. The condition, instead, has been a springboard for her to fight the disease through fundraising at school and by lobbying state lawmakers .

In her other hours, Kaki excels in academics and dreams of one day becoming a pediatric oncologist.

Through volunteering, Kaki works closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. The fund’s biggest is the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Kaki is the founder and chairperson of the walk team at Holy Innocents’, which in the last five years has raised over $138,000.

“Our entire school comes out as a community to support a cause that is very meaningful to me,” said Kaki, who lives in Sandy Springs.

Kaki also serves on the fund’s government relations group, where she has the opportunity to “speak with legislators about funding money for diabetes research as well as other things that will support people with diabetes.”

“In 2003, I got to go to Children’s Congress (in Washington, D.C.), where I got to speak to the Georgia senators as well as my representative, who was at that point Johnny Isakson. We still continue that, so every year I go and talk to Rep. Tom Price about why he should support diabetes research funding, why he should continue special diabetes programs, so that is something that has definitely been notable.”

Apart from her work in support of finding a cure for diabetes, Kaki is very involved with theater at Holy Innocents’.

“It’s wonderful because on stage you get to be someone you would never normally get to be,” Kaki said.

She is also involved in her church, Peachtree Road United Methodist. She sings in the choir and is involved with the youth group. She has traveled to Nicaragua on three mission trips.

Over her Christmas holiday, she returned to Nicaragua for her most recent trip. As part of a medical team, she worked in a clinic distributing medicine with the doctors there. She also helped build houses when she wasn’t in the clinic.

What’s Next:

Kaki plans to pursue a degree in biochemistry and looks to graduate from an M.D./Ph.D. program and work as a pediatric oncologist, specializing in childhood cancer.

“I have loved all of the science classes I have taken at HIES, including AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science, so I have definitely decided to pursue a degree in something I know I will love,” Kaki said.

She also found an unexpected interest through taking a course on the philosophy of existentialism. “I’m pretty scientific-minded, so that’s just stuff I wouldn’t typically be exposed to. So, after reading some of the books for the class, like Metamorphosis, it influenced me to maybe even minor in philosophy or in religious studies in college,” Kaki said.

–Megan Ernst