Getting to Know

She Will Reap

BWIC student Chelsea Stubbs.

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photo By Daphne Roots

Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in.

Most of us are familiar with the Bible verse that tells us that we reap what we sow. It’s always uplifting when we witness a concrete example of this credo in action.

BWIC top student Chelsea Stubbs achieved academic accolades while overcoming great difficulties at home.

Chelsea Stubbs, the British West Indies Collegiate’s Head Girl, bears an incredible list of academic accomplishments. She earned the “Top BWIC Student Award from Year 7 to Year 11” and achieved the coveted place of “Valedictorian of the Year 11 Class of 2017.” Two years after achieving ten A*s at IGCSE, she has just completed her final year of the Advanced Level courses in Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry and achieved all As in her AS exams. But her greater success came when she was lauded as “Top in the World for Cambridge International AS Level Chemistry,” achieving the highest mark in the world in her three Chemistry papers. She did similarly well in Biology (93%) and Mathematics (94%).

Other accolades include being recognized as the country’s Top Science and Humanities student and Overall Best Performing Student (shared with Tyrese Saunders) during the National Academic Awards in January 2019. During her educational career at BWIC, she has also won first place in the National Inter-High School Spelling Bee and first place in the Fortis Science Quiz for three consecutive years. At the same time, she was a formidable force on the BWIC softball and volleyball teams, both national champions.

What does this have to do with sowing? At the same time as all of this was taking place in 2017, Chelsea’s father, Bennett Stubbs, suffered two massive strokes. Single-handedly at their home, Chelsea nursed her father through his illness and recovery, cared for her grandfather Stanley Stubbs, and ran the household. She traveled with her dad on hospital visits to the Dominican Republic (she is fluent in Spanish and was well able to represent him), as well as to the US for speech therapy. 

I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for a teenager to contend with so many responsibilities. However, Chelsea does not dwell on difficulties; instead, she turns them into learning experiences. She would undertake extra studies at school after spending the entire night at the hospital, tending to her father. When he came home, Chelsea used the Internet to learn about nursing and stroke rehabilitation. Through it all, she never questioned having to do the right thing.

Others have sowed into Chelsea’s life, as well, and are now delighted with her success. Besides her father’s life-long advice to put her best effort towards everything she does, Chelsea credits her godparents, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Forde, with setting her sights high. “They always lifted me up and encouraged me to do well in school. I wanted to make them proud and show that their support was not wasted.” 

After her primary education at B.E.S.T. Institute, Chelsea was offered a full seven-year scholarship by Graceway IGA to attend BWIC. Her dream had come true and she joined the Collegiate in Year 7 (Form 1). BWIC Principal Sylvie Wigglesworth states, “Her academic brilliance and high degree of self-discipline were impressive from day one. She never took anything for granted and continued on her quest for excellence.” Besides being Chelsea’s principal, Mrs. Wigglesworth has been her mentor for years. Chelsea says, “Madame has been a very special part of my life and I will never forget how she went out of her way to help me countless times. I did not know there could be so much love in the heart of one person.”

Chelsea adds that she also received a lot of support from her Biology and Physics teachers at the Collegiate. “They made a significant contribution to my success. They always believed in my abilities and were instrumental in seeding a deep love for the subjects. They were constantly taking me beyond the confines of the syllabus, making science fun and rewarding by placing it into the context of the wider world.”

During her A levels, although Chelsea did her best to make good use of her time at school, she inevitably had to miss some lessons due to being at the hospital with her dad, preparing for medical school entrance exams, and flying to England for university interviews. She says, “I am very grateful to the school and my teachers, espcially Miss Jones, who have supported me in and outside school, for understanding my situation and trusting that I would make up for lost time. I would also like to thank a benevolent member of the community and his wife for taking me into their home while my dad was away so I could have a quiet space to prepare for the Year 12 exams.”

What does the future hold for this ever-smiling, upbeat 19 year-old? Chelsea hopes to use her life experience to learn to heal others. With a full scholarship from the TCI Government (as Top National Scholar), she plans to study medicine and has completed difficult interviews at Sheffield and Manchester Medical Schools in the UK, as well as Imperial College in London, one of the most prestigious schools of medicine in the world. All three have offered her a place, with Chelsea preferring Imperial, and anticipating a September start.

Her scholarship bond requires that she return to TCI to practice medicine for five years and this humble student has clear ideas on how she wants to “doctor.” She says, “I want to be a general practitioner, talking to patients, learning about their needs, and then being the one to send them to the necessary specialist. My goal is to diagnose disease, especially mental illness, early-on and treat my patients as whole persons–mind, body and soul.” 

Chelsea has engaged in meaningful work experience, volunteering at the Provo Children’s Home and local Emergency Medical Service. She also shadows Dr. Bourne and Dr. Menzies at Associated Medical Practices in Providenciales. 

It is clear that Chelsea Stubbs is not a person out for accolades. She is calm, happy, and very well-rounded. She plays the flute in the BWIC band, bakes cakes, cupcakes and brownies and loves to read 20th century history. She wants to nurture the seeds of opportunity that have sprouted in her young life. As Chelsea says, “Good things follow you when you are determined to work hard to accomplish them.”

By the way, Chelsea reports that her father has made an excellent recovery and is back to a happy life as normal.



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