The rewards of hard work and dedication are paying off for one Killdeer Public Schools senior as he a very select few received their nomination to become delegates in one of America’s most prestigious programs for high achieving high school students.
Brendon Gibson, a senior at Killdeer Public Schools, has been nominated as a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or pursue medical research fields.
The Congress of Future Medical Leaders was created by the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists to help solve a problem in a nation that desperately needs more physicians and medical scientists. Their goal continues to be to gather the country’s finest high school students who aspire to careers in medicine and singling them out for special recognition and ongoing mentorship.
Gibson, an honor student, was nominated for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders by someone with an eye for talent. Applicants can only be nominated by people that have the Nobel Peace Prize, or similarly regarded esteem. For Gibson and his mother Shayla Davila, the nomination came as a tremendous surprise.
“The first thing that went into my mind was, ‘this is a scam, they want my money, this will be some little title, I’m not going to do it,’” Gibson said. “Sure enough, I started looking online trying to figure out what exactly this is and then I figured out this is an actual organization. Right then and there, I was astonished and blown away.”
Davila originally thought the letter was just another in a series of pre-drafted letters Gibson typically receives daily from Universities and colleges far and wide, and nearly threw it away. Luckily, it was the address from Harvard University that caught her eye.
“He gets stuff every day from colleges,” she said. “It was actually in my car for about a week and a half and I almost threw it out … and when I saw the address said Harvard Square I thought, ‘Harvard?’ and it came from Massachusetts … this would have been bad had I not seen that.”
Gibson’s nomination was signed by Italian-born science director Dr. Mario Capecchi, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2007, winner of the Wolf Prize in 2003 and Lasker Award Winner in 2001.
During his two-day Congress trip in November, Gibson will unite with other students from across the U.S. and listen to Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science Winners talk about leading medical research. The students will also be given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school; get to talk to patients that are labeled “medical miracles” and ultimately learn about cutting-edge advances and the future in medicine and medical technology.
According to the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists website, the program was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address this crisis by working to identify, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to the service of humanity as physicians, medical scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians.
Gibson, originally from Dallas, TX grew up in a single parent household with his mother, Shayla Davila and his twin brother, Brenton in the middle of the inner city of Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Growing up, Gibson’s twin brother, Brenton always loved playing sports, Gibson was different and loved playing with facts whether it was reading or telling others.
“When he was young he always thought he knew everything, which would kind of irritate me,” Davila said. “But anything he sets his mind to, he does … we’re all just very proud of him.”
People that may question why a senior that’s only been in Killdeer for a few years has garnered so much success. But one look at his accolades and accomplishments wipes out any doubt of his nomination.
Gibson, was recognized by Duke University talent program his sixth and seventh grade years, specifically honoring academically advanced students. By seventh grade, Gibson completed both his SAT and ACT. Gibson is currently a Certified Nursing Assistant that works at Hill Top Home of Comfort, one of the higher COVID-19 confirmed cases locations, gained hours of help and experience working with the Killdeer Ambulance, who Gibson praised as “helping me big time” as they have helped him nearly become a certified Emergency Medical Technician, only needing to take the test. Gibson was president of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) during his freshman and sophomore years, was named the North Dakota State President, named the Killdeer President for two years, placed first for CPR and First-Aid. Part of the National Honor Society, part of Student Government, President of S.A.D.D. (Students Against Destructive Decisions.)
When asked what he likes to do for fun? Gibson replied, “I like to work for fun.”
Needless to say, Gibson, whose main goal is to one day become an anesthesiologist, earned the nomination.
But he doesn’t want to stop there, as seen in his past, Gibson finds ways of continuing to push forward and motivate himself to succeed.
“If I finish a task within an organization or I reached the pinnacle at which I believe I could go ... then I set it further,” he said. “I just continue pushing and pushing until there I’ve actually reached the boundary there’s nothing left. But so far, there is so many things I can do, and that’s what keeps me going.”
For the average senior, having a job, maintaining grades and focusing on college is one of the most difficult tasks. But with Gibson, whose continues to find ways of working towards his dream of being a doctor, his full schedule is full of motivation.
“I don’t know how I do it,” Gibson said. “Usually when I tell people, they think, ‘oh, it must be tiring,’ I don’t feel like I gained or lost energy from it. It is a rigorous and strict schedule to go by, but I just have to hold myself accountable to it. Waking up at 7 a.m. and going to be bed at 10:30 p.m., if I can fit anything else in, I will.
“But, I'm not doing this for me, I’m doing this for the advancement of others,” Gibson added. “To become a doctor, it’s not to gain the money, gain the popularity, gain the big homes or anything. It’s making sure the ones around you are in safe hands.”
Among those that have helped him get to where he is, Gibson credited his family, and in God, for helping him get to where he is today.
“They are 100% supportive, even before I had a thought of medicine they were there,” Gibson said. “They knew I was bright from the day I was born, they knew that there was something in me that would push me further or beyond the limits or boundaries in front of me.”
As for how other people can be as motivated to succeed, or to receive the amount of success Gibson has garnered in only a short amount of time, Gibson said the secret lies within God and having faith.
“I am a very faithful person, and I would say pray for guidance, believe that it will come to pass,” he said. “I believe that if you give time to (God) he will give you what you need and he will give you what you want … if they want to follow in what I’m doing, they have to open themselves up, and allow blessings to come through.”
Currently, Gibson has declared to attend Dallas Baptist University with $36,000 in academic scholarships. Gibson is planning on returning to North Dakota following completion of college to be a doctor in the state he now calls home.
Gibson and Davila recently created a GoFundMe page to help Gibson with his preparations for college. To help donate, go to https://gf.me/u/yznir2.