Ardenne High head boy riding on faith to fulfil his dream
Nineteen-year-old Fabrizio Darby, head boy at Ardenne High School, is now in his final year of high school with his eyes set on matriculating to university.
Darby has been accepted to a number of universities, but the one he has his heart set on is the University of Miami, and although he has been awarded the Isaac Beshadil Singer Scholarship, which covers the full cost of tuition, he said that realising his dream is still on shaky grounds.
“While I am extremely elated at the offer of the Singer scholarship, living expenses pose a major threat to my hopes,” said Darby, admitting that he will need extra help in meeting the other financial expenses associated with attending the university.
Darby is hoping that by highlighting his story, he will get the assistance he needs to continue chasing his dreams of being a neurologist – a profession influenced by his autistic brother.
“Living with Steve (his brother), who has autism, made me interested in the brain, and soon, it became my fixation. All I could do was question whether Steve really had a disability or a hidden ability I was not capable of appreciating. Is there anything in the brain, that pink tangibility, capable of understanding the intangible that made my brother different from me?” he asked, highlighting some of the questions he hopes to eventually answer.
Darby is convinced that he will someday be truly able to contribute to research in the field of mental health in Jamaica and scientific research in general.
Darby, whose whole life surrounds his faith in God, said that he has been a Christian since age 11 and that his journey in faith has been chronicled in the many poems he has written.
Perusal of these poems will see vivid images of last February, when he lost his best friend – his grandfather.
“My grandfather was my confidant, someone who encouraged me to push no matter what economic, mental, or physical challenges arose. Cancer sucked him dry. This pushed me towards medicine even more. Despite the fact that my support systems seemed to be crumbling around me, my faith never wavered,” he shared.
For all his academic excellence, Darby said he is not a fan of studying, and so he praises his school for being at the forefront of innovation. Still, he said there have been times when he has sat in class thinking to himself, ‘Jah know, this rough’. He comforts himself with the thought that diamonds come from the rough.
“I pray, too. I also oftentimes look back at the portrait of my grandfather in my living room and think of what he’d say if I was wasting time. I then reassure myself that if God is able to take me thus far, then he can take me further. I use my school’s motto – ‘With God as guide, seek the best’ – to remind me that God will enable me to reach the zenith of my goals,” he said in confidence.
For the klutzes out there, Darby offers hope as he said he has never been good at a lot of things, such as dancing, playing football and running – but he was always a good talker! He gives God thanks that that skill has made him into a good public speaker.
Outside of school life, Darby has his hands full with extracurricular activities, such as being the general secretary of the National Secondary Students’ Council, the youth group president for his church at Independence City Church of Christ, a youth ambassador for the Shashamane Sunrise Foundation, and a member of Called to Lead Jamaica – the latter two aiming to serve at-risk youth in developing areas – and those are just a few of his involvements.