We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of the alumni and parents who have generously donated to the Benefactor Wall. Your contributions helped to preserve the many activities that not only give the students joy but also help them grow to be strong and resilient. We would like to especially recognize Dr. Kenneth Igbalode, who has sponsored the project and made the Benefactor Wall vision a reality. His dedication is an inspiration for many to strive, succeed, and give back.
Dr. Kenneth Igbalode
Kenneth Igbalode was born in San Antonio, Texas, the only child of Nigerian and Filipino immigrant parents. He spent his early years in the small border town of Eagle Pass, Texas and at the age of four years old his family left Eagle Pass and settled in Houston in order to find the best educational opportunities for his future. He is a proud product of the public-school system and attended HISD institutions for elementary school (Mac Gregor, Mark Twain, Longfellow), middle school (The Rice School) and high school (DeBakey).
Dr. Igbalode excelled academically during his time at DeBakey and was naturally drawn to the field of Medicine through early clinical experiences gained at the school. He graduated with the Class of 2005 and was a recipient of the prestigious University of Houston/Baylor College of Medicine Houston Pre-Medical Academy merit scholarship. He proceeded to the University of Houston where he majored in Biology and Chemistry and graduated with honors in 2009. He entered medical school at the Baylor College of Medicine and during his time in medical school became very active in community outreach, specifically in efforts aimed at increasing the exposure and interest of traditionally underserved and minority students to careers in Medicine. He graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in 2013 and went on to complete his post-graduate medical education in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. There he became interested in the field of Cardiology and eventually returned to Houston to complete his fellowship training in Cardiovascular Diseases at the Texas Heart Institute (THI). He pursued an additional year of sub-specialization in the field of Interventional Cardiology at THI, during which time he developed the procedural skillset to manage a wide spectrum of cardiovascular conditions. He completed his medical training in 2020 and is currently practicing as an Attending Interventional Cardiologist at the University of Washington Valley Medical Center in Renton, Washington.
He has always regarded his four years at DeBakey High School as some of the most formative years of his life; instilling in him a passion for learning, a strong and relentless work ethic, and the motivation needed to not only succeed but excel in high performing environments. Afternoons spent decorating the hallways for Winter Ball, HOSA competition trips with classmates, learning cultural dances with his friends for the annual international festival, and singing vocals as part of a garage band during talent show are just some of his most favorite memories from high school. His most cherished memory came as a senior when he had the chance opportunity to meet Dr. DeBakey in person, while he was still alive and practicing at the Methodist Hospital. Meeting him and discussing his career in Medicine was indeed a truly special insight into the legend that is Dr. DeBakey and served to further solidify his own inner resolve and aspirations to help others and become a physician.
“It is in these special places like DeBakey High School where creativity, ingenuity, and discovery are created and cultivated. With the support and efforts of the administrative staff, teachers and faculty, all students here are challenged to dream big and leave their own impact on their communities and our world at large. A tremendous gratitude is deserved by the DeBakey PTO, who continue to support the mission of the school and its students, serving to preserve and nurture the tradition of excellence that we have come to expect from all those who have been fortunate to attend this storied high school.”
Kenneth Y. Igbalode, MD