Local grad overcomes major obstacle, named one of country’s top students


An Albuquerque teen who will receive her high school diploma Thursday has dealt with far more than any teenager should.

Her senior year, Abigail Pribisova, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but during that time she managed to become one of the top students in the entire country.

“I think everyone deals with cancer in different ways, and my kind of way I just wanted to act like everything was normal,” Pribisova said.

Through treatment, she said everyone around her promised to carry on as normal as can be.

“I didn’t want to talk about it and I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me,” she said.”I just wanted to keep trucking.”

But to keep on trucking meant Pribisova would need to keep up with the responsibilities that came along with being a senior who was prepping to go to college.

“The teachers, also, were so understanding,” she said. 

Then a few months back, she learned not only did she overcome cancer, but Pribisova was also named a 2019 US Presidential Scholar.

“It seemed a little too good to be true,” she said. 

The program recognizes seniors who demonstrate outstanding academic success.

“I have so many of my classmates and friends who also have amazing academics and amazing extra-circulars and who have multiple challenges just like me,” she said.

Challenges she overcame with the help from friends and family by her side. 

“I’m grateful and just excited to get started on what I want to do with my life,” Pribisova said. 

The high school grad plans to attend UNM in the fall.

She will travel to Washington DC in June to be recognized as a presidential scholar along with Donavan Mendez from Raton.

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