17-year-old named Outstanding Teen of 2011
She's earned college credits at Harvard, is proficient in Italian, plays guitar and has shadowed surgeons at King Edward (VII) Memorial Hospital all before she's old enough to vote.
Mariangela Bucci, 17, was named Outstanding Teen of 2011 by Teen Services on Saturday night, after excelling in academics, music, language and volunteering. She was one of 17 young people who were praised for their participation in areas like Community Service, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Perseverance, Leadership and Sports.
The Royal Gazette after the win, Mariangela said she was “surprised”, “honoured” and “grateful” for the recognition. She said: “It's important to be recognised. It's not something I need, but it's certainly encouraging and motivating.
“It's nice to have objective bodies, other than my parents, recognise my efforts and just assure me I will be successful no matter what college I get into or where I end up.”
Mariangela, currently enrolled in the “rigorous” International Baccalaureate (IB) programme at Bermuda High School, said the past two years have been the most challenging in her academic life.
In addition to leaving behind a memory-based style of education for one that teaches her 'why things are', she considered it a blow when she wasn't accepted into her top college. Still the young woman has big plans ahead for her future. She is hoping to take time off to travel and learn more about photography in Florence, Italy; and then hopes to attend Harvard or Tufts University or Williams and Middlebury College in the United States, and study medical anthropology.
In addition to the award for overall outstanding teen, she was given the Academic Achievement award for having a 4.0 Grade Point Average and scoring in the 97 percentile in the ACT (American College Testing).
She has also attended Harvard Summer School and earned eight college credits after studying neuro-biology and bio-medical ethics. She received six A* in her GCSE's and, for the past three summers, has taken part in the Centre for Talented Youth summer programme in engineering psychology and biomedical science.
Mariangela said she had dedicated the majority of her life to academics and admitted: “I do study a lot. I am intellectually curious and I just have a genuine interest in academics. I just try to pursue academics because it's enjoyable to know as much as possible about the world we live in and interesting to learn how things work.”
In addition to her academic successes, she spent two years shadowing doctors on the surgical ward of the hospital, plays guitar, studies taekwondo and volunteers with environmental group Greenrock and BASE (Bermuda Autism and Support Education).
She is most passionate about her participation in her school's committee, The Round Square, where she and other BHS students are in the process of starting up a new leadership structure.
She said taking part in the committee has been very “rewarding” as she watches students empower themselves to change their school.
She thinks it's important for young people to be praised for doing positive works, instead of the negative that dominates the media. It's her overall desire to serve human kind, she said, adding that it might sound “cheesy”.
“I have been so blessed. I have both parents and I feel on a day to day basis I have so many opportunities, like access to private education and summer school every year of my life. I think it is unfortunate that so many other people do not have the same opportunities that I do. So I want to use what I gain from these opportunities to help other people.”
Other young achievers included: Zoë Friesen, VaShon Williams, Taylor-Ashley Bean, Lance Fraser, Chioma Nwasiki, Chyone Harris, Alesha Johnson, Benjamin Groves, Caitlin O'Doherty, Ryan Amaral, Arielle DeSilva, Shakir Amory, Chloe Brookes, Domico Watson, Adrienne Miller and Phillip Shawn Herman.
Useful websites: www.gov.bm