NORTH BALTIMORE – North Baltimore senior Abigail North isn’t exactly sure when her drive to succeed really kicked in. But she said, “My drive has gotten me a lot of places I didn’t think it could, especially when it comes to school.”
The class valedictorian said she has achieved her goal of maintaining a 4.0 GPA and a score of 29 on her ACT while still doing the things she loves to do. She said she has learned to balance school, her social life and extracurricular activities over the years.
North said her extracurriculars keep her busy. She participates in track and field, choir, swing choir, drama club, quiz bowl, church youth group and Paws for a Cause (a volunteer organization). She has a part-time job at the North Baltimore Public Library.
She added that there were more activities she was involved in but had narrowed it down recently to what she really likes.
“Of course, I’m still in school,” North said. Her day runs from 8 a.m. to about 2:40 pm. She also has library work or track practice after school.
“Then depending on the day, I have improv practice. I’m typically home around 8 p.m., so it’s kind of a long day, but I like staying busy.”
She said her sources of inspiration included some sibling rivalry.
“My three brothers are much older than I am, so as I watched them succeed throughout high school and college, I knew that I wanted to strive to do the same, if not better than they did.”
She says she has taken the drive that she has in school and used it to drive her personal life as well.
“When I go through challenges — whether it be in sports, at work, or just something that I’m struggling with — I just tell myself that I’ve already accomplished so much, that giving up would be a waste of the gifts that God has given me.”
She also said that the journey to this point has not always been easy.
“I can’t necessarily pinpoint an exact event where the growth began to take place,” she said.“Middle school was kind of a rough time for me, and going into high school, it didn’t get much better.”
She said she was in a lot of emotional distress, as were her friends, and at times her family as well.
That proved a drag on North’s energies.
“I’m someone who likes to make things easier for other people, so I kind of ran myself dry for the first two years of high school. Just when I hit what seemed like rock bottom, I guess that’s when I really knew that it was time to make a change. I’ve learned to become more open minded, kind-hearted, and gentle towards other people, but I’ve also learned to listen to myself and what I need in order for me to become the person I want to be.”
Her desire to help others still is a big part of North’s life, with plans to majoring in Psychology at Miami University this fall.
“Like I said earlier, I’m someone who likes to make things easier for other people. I know my friends have struggled a tremendous amount with mental health, and I have as well. So that has had a big influence on my choice in a major.”
Upon graduation, she plans to become a clinical psychologist where she wants to “provide cognitive therapy for people to reverse their brain’s thinking.”
North says her family is quite large. Her parents are Chris and Marlene, plus her three older brothers: Drew, Corey, and Evan.
“All of my brothers are married and out of the house, so I also have three sister-in-laws, Jocelin, Hannah, and Rebecca. I also have two nieces, Ava and Harper, and a nephew, Noah. Then of course there’s me.”
She admitted she doesn’t have a whole lot of free time. But when she does she says she enjoys spending time with friends and family, shopping, and watching Netflix.