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By Jennifer L. Warren
BEACON – For some high school students, Biology is a science class that has to be taken and passed; however, for Angelica Hibbert, the subject runs far, far deeper.
“I have always loved Biology; it takes me to another world, a place where I’m learning things, and I just want to keep on discovering more,” described Hibbert, her eyes alit with excitement. “When I’m studying it, it takes me down an intriguing rabbit hole, one I don’t want to get out of.”
Hibbert, a Beacon High School (BHS) senior, has flourished in that Biology “rabbit hole” space throughout her high school career, one that includes a freshman year spent at Newburgh Free Academy and sophomore through senior years at BHS. Her passion for, as well as aptitude in Biology, along with the other sciences, has not only resulted in a host of impressive academic accolades, but earned her a recent opportunity to represent BHS as well as New York State at the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists on Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21, 2021. Originally slated to be held in-person at Lowell, Massachusetts, this year’s esteemed event was limited to the virtual realm due to the Pandemic. Despite the challenges connected to in-person restrictions, Hibbert gained priceless knowledge and experience from the weekend which included listening to Deans of Medical Schools from places such as Georgetown and Duke.
“One Dean taught me that to be successful, you need to be surrounded by a village of people and mentors to propel you toward success,” said Hibbert, whose top collegiate choice is nearby Marist University, where she hopes to lay the groundwork for a career in cosmetic dermatology. “I also learned how surgeons are not perfect people and how rejection can be part of being a doctor, but it’s ok to receive a no; no one is ever going to be perfect, but it’s how you deal with that rejection and continue to strive to achieve your goals that will ultimately determine how far you will go.”
For Hibbert, who carries a 4.0 GPA at Beacon High School, where she is not only a member of the National Honor Society, but assists its Advisor with critical paperwork duties, she has high aspirations of going as far as she possibly can. Part of the catalyst for her fierce drive is embedded in her ethnicity. A third generation Jamaican and Puerto Rican American, Hibbert is determined to be a role model on multiple levels.
“Representation matters; in science and the medical fields, you don’t see a lot of minorities,” said Hibbert, who enjoys reading, ceramics, baking, singing and community service in her free time. “At the Medical Congress, they motivated us to follow our dreams and not let anyone or thing stop us from reaching our goals, reminding us that we are deserving of them.”
Very little seems to be getting in the way of Hibbert these days. Through the Medical Congress, she was inducted as a delegate into the Society of Torch and Laurel, qualifying her for an assortment of scholarship opportunities. In addition to the Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists experience, exposing Hibbert to highly revered speakers, she also had the elusive opportunity to view a shoulder replacement as well as open heart surgery, seeing first-hand “how much hard work and dedication it takes to pursue a career in medicine.”
Hibbert is prepared to put in whatever work it takes to fulfill her goals of not only becoming a cosmetic dermatologist, but also the owner of a skin care company, one that uses only natural ingredients, void of any harsh chemicals. Although fulfilling her academic and career goals are both close to Hibbert’s heart, just as Biology is, so too is having an overall purpose in life, not only in school and at her job some day, but in all realms of life.
“In life, we get so caught up in achieving things, and then, once we get to the top, we don’t feel as great as we thought we would,” said Hibbert. “If I do God’s work and love along the way, then I am living God’s purpose for me; really, I want people to know that deep down, their value comes from Christ-always in my heart- and not from what they achieve.”