DDS student joins women-led Minnesota Aurora FC
Kristelle Yewah, DDS ’23, is a soccer star turned dental student—and now, she’s primed to become a soccer star again with the women-led, community-owned Minnesota Aurora FC.
For Yewah, soccer is a family affair. She and her two siblings played soccer from childhood through college. Yewah began playing when she was four years old. “All my cousins and aunts and uncles all played soccer as well,” she said, “so growing up I was surrounded by the sport and did not know much about other sports.”
As an undergraduate pursuing a degree in kinesiology, Yewah played for Michigan State University. Traveling with the team to Minnesota was one of the things that led her to the School of Dentistry. “In college, the University of Minnesota was always one of my favorite campuses to visit,” she recalled. “So when the opportunity presented itself to still be in the Big Ten and attend one of my favorite campuses, I couldn’t turn it down.”
Yewah chose dentistry because of its openness to art and creativity. “Dentistry is so unique because it has the medicine side, which is very structured, but you also have an artistic side that allows you to be creative with your work,” she said. “I love that there is more than one way to go about doing things, and I have always been interested in health. It’s exciting to know that your work can completely change a person’s life, and I love being able to help others.”
When she came to Minnesota, Yewah stopped playing soccer—but she certainly wasn’t lacking for things to do. She is part of the Delta Sigma Delta dental fraternity. She has served as social chair of the Student National Dental Association since her third year of dental school and was a member of the executive committee beginning her second year. She is a member of Better Together, a student-led group that seeks to address implicit bias and racism and further diversity, equity and inclusion at the School of Dentistry.
Though she had plenty to do, Yewah missed playing competitive soccer. “Since my first year in dental school, I have been hoping for a semi-pro team in Minneapolis,” she said. So when a friend found a flyer for the newly-formed Minnesota Aurora, it didn’t take much convincing to go for it.
“I can’t remember the last time I had a tryout for soccer,” she said. “But I enjoyed getting back on the field in that environment again.”
Yewah made the team, along with eleven other women. They began competitive play in May as part of the USL W League. She was thrilled to find out that she’d be part of this team.
“I’m especially excited to be part of the first of something like this, especially because it is primarily a women-driven team,” Yewah said. She looks forward to being a role model for younger girls who play soccer in the state.
The journey will not be easy—going into her fourth year of dentistry while playing competitively will mean she has quite a bit on her plate. But she’s confident in herself. “I’ve had the experience of balancing academics and soccer before, so I think carrying that time management and discipline that I had in college will be a huge help,” she said.
Yewah is excited for everything that’s to come: making new friends, competing again and working toward becoming an exceptional dentist. And she’s ready to be part of something incredible.
“It is a blessing to be part of a team again, and I hope we make the community proud,” she said. “I am so thankful that I had this opportunity, and I hope to be an inspiration to others watching my journey of becoming a dentist and being a semi-pro soccer player.”