Huntington valedictorian strives for the best

Published 12:21 am Sunday, May 9, 2010

FERRIDAY — Abi Brown likes to go at things full throttle, from sports to academics.

“I am one of those kids who, when I get something done, I want it done to the best of my ability,” she said. “I am not good at half doing things.”

As Huntington School’s valedictorian, Brown, 17, has attended the school for all but two years of her education, the fourth and fifth grades.

She’s managed to keep good grades and play summer league softball, run cross country, play school softball, basketball and track.

And while it has been fulfilling, it hasn’t always been easy, she said.

“Track is my full focus,” Brown said. “When it comes time for spring finals, that is the most stressful time, having to study and prepare for track meets.”

But balancing sports and academics has paid off, and Brown has signed with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette’s track team.

She chose ULL in part because, aside from the school programs available, everyone there seemed to be oriented toward physical health.

“When you visit campus, there are people running everywhere,” she said.

While at ULL, Brown plans to study kinesiology, and said she hopes to one day become a chiropractor.

“I want to work with athletes,” she said. “I have interviewed chiropractors and I like the work they do.”

She knew she wanted to work with injured people after doing a summer internship with the AHEC medical program, which allows students to work in a medical environment.

AHEC also helped her rule out one branch of medicine — orthopedic surgery.

“We got to sit in on some surgeries, and I didn’t mind the blood or anything like that,” she said. “When (the doctor) took a hammer and started hitting it against the bones in that woman’s hands, I had to look away and say, ‘That’s not for me.’”

Finishing as a member of the last graduating class before Huntington School closes its door hasn’t been easy, but Brown said she hasn’t lost her focus here at the end.

“You learn to look past the bad and find the good, and you say, ‘I am going on to the next step in my life, in my education,’” she said.

Abi is the daughter of Rhonda Yearick and the late Wayne Brown.