Take big risks to reach your dreams - that is the message from this year’s valedictorian at Hunting Hills High School.
“It’s about not being afraid to grab opportunities. That is how you figure out what you are passionate about and what you really love to do in life,” said Andrew Abey, who was born in India and moved to Red Deer in Grade 1.
He said he has enjoyed his experience in Red Deer Public Schools and there have been many teachers and staff along the way who have helped him achieve his greatest potential.
“In high school especially, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity I’ve had to take AP courses which really enhanced and enriched my learning so that I’m better prepared for first year university,” he said.
Looking ahead, Abey has been accepted to both the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto for the Life Sciences program. He is still deciding which university he will attend.
“Hopefully after I get my undergraduate in science, I will go to med school,” he said.
Abey’s passion for medicine has only grown over the years as he has volunteered at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
“I’ve really had a chance to experience a wide variety of what the hospital can offer and what the health care facility offers for patients,” he said. “We get to interact with patients, which is super fulfilling to me because I learn other people’s life stories.”
As for his message to his fellow students on Friday during their graduation ceremony, he said it’s about finding your passion and going for it.
“It might not entail what you are learning right now, but they are stepping stones you need to take to get to your final goal,” he said. “Have a goal in mind - but if you don’t know what that goal is, dip your toes in a lot of things and find out what interests you.”
Trevor Pikkert, Vice Principal at Hunting Hills, said he is very proud of Abey.
“Andrew is a very strong student with an overall academic average of 98.6%. He earned a perfect 100% in Math 31, Biology 30 and Physics 30, but he is more than just a strong academic, he is also involved in our student leadership group and he represented our badminton team at the provincial level as well,” he said. “We are very proud of Andrew and we wish him the best as he follows his passion in the field of medicine.”
Hunting Hills is celebrating its 317 Grade 12 graduates at Westerner Park on Friday.
(Submitted by Red Deer Public Schools)
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