Brevyn Belfield bucked the doctors; now he aims to be one himself
June 12, 2019
Student: Brevyn Belfield
School: Broughton Magnet High
College: Hampton University
Some doctors gave up on Brevyn Belfield before he was even born. It’s a good thing no one else did.
“They said I wasn’t going to make it, and if I did I would have a hard life,” said the Broughton Magnet High senior, who was born with a chronic kidney disease and also without stomach muscles.
Thankfully, Brevyn’s parents sought other opinions. After years of great medical attention, love and care from his parents and his own determination, Brevyn bucked that initial diagnosis. Big time.
Challenges inspired career choice
Now he is headed to the “illustrious” Hampton University in Virginia, one of the nation’s top HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) to pursue a career – as a doctor. And he will attend on a partial scholarship.
Seven surgeries before starting kindergarten, not to mention countless subsequent doctor and hospital visits, might make most people never want to see the inside of a medical facility again. Not so for Brevyn. In addition to his good health, his doctors, specialists and other medical professionals also are somewhat responsible for his career choice.
“It got me interested in science, I guess, being in and out of hospitals. Seeing all the different equipment, seeing all the medications and the IV drips,” he said. “It made me want to help others who were dealing with things that were far worse than what I was (dealing with), and to find different cures. I love the human body and medicine.”
Well prepared – for everything!
Brevyn isn’t worried about attending a top university after his preparation in WCPSS: Hunter Magnet and Root elementary schools, then Ligon Magnet Middle before Broughton. And he’s always loved school.
“I used to be very quiet, but over the years (teachers) have helped me to come out of that shell and to become very outspoken,” said Brevyn. “(They encouraged me) to interact with other children, and once they did that it really helped me become the outgoing person I am today.”
A recent walk through Broughton’s hallways on his way to a photo session saw Brevyn interrupted by a number of teachers and students alike who wanted to say hi and see what was going on. And he’s very involved: Junior class president. Member of the Principal’s Student Advisory Council. Broughton choir member. Tri-M Music Honor Society. Service Club. Distinct Youth, a club that encourages minority students to pursue college.
All this while taking environmental science, biology, physical science and forensic science at Broughton, along with a full slate of additional academic courses.
A scholar and a gentleman
“What strikes me most about Brevyn is that he is kind and earnest – and genuine. He cares about other people, cares about doing the right thing,” said Broughton Principal Elena Ashburn. “He always speaks to me when he sees me and others. He just has a great spirit about him. And he always has a smile on his face.”
“He’s very proud of his school and interested in being a part of building a good culture,” she added.
In addition to his Hampton scholarship, Brevyn was awarded Broughton’s Margaret Matkins Memorial Scholarship, established by the widower of a former teacher and given to a student who has overcome significant obstacles to achieve success.
Ambition and talent run in the family. Brevyn’s twin brother Dabreyn, who also is graduating from Broughton this year, will attend North Carolina Central University on a football scholarship.
Brevyn will start Hampton this summer, when he will take courses in English and math as a head start to make way for more classes toward his biology major in the fall. Between that and the beginning of his first semester, he hopes to job shadow – with the surgeon who saved his life.
Words of wisdom
Regardless of any obstacles a particular student might or might not have had to face, what would Brevyn say to those who will follow him?
“I would say that high school is what you make it. I would advise everyone to get out and experience different things. Get out of your comfort zone,” he said. “Education is the number one thing, but you need to be a well-rounded student.”
He also suggests taking full advantage of everything teachers have to offer.
“Every teacher that I have had over my four years at Broughton has made a huge impact on my life,” said Brevyn. “I could always count on someone here at school if I needed someone to talk to while I’m at school. I love all my teachers, the faculty and the staff. They’ve really helped shape me into the person I am today and to get me to this point.”
He adds that if you’re fortunate enough to have them, recognize what your parents, guardians, grandparents or other influential adults in your life are doing to support you – in the moment.
“They have done so much for my twin brother and me,” said Brevyn of his parents. “I just love my parents, they have sacrificed so many things for us, and I just want to make them proud at the end of the day.”
We have a feeling you can check that one off your list, Brevyn!