Senior Anna Grace Browning is finishing her fourth year at Hillcrest; she came to HCS at the start of her freshman year and felt at home almost immediately. Part of the reason for this is because she jumped right in to many of the activities offered. Anna Grace is co-section leader and a trumpet soloist for the One Spirit One Sound band, a member of both the Quiz Bowl team and the Yearbook staff, manager and statistician for the soccer team, Senior Class / Student Body Vice President, a member of Honor Society, AND she plays on the tennis team. Other aspects of Hillcrest which helped Anna Grace adjust quickly to her new school home are the teachers, who “care about you as a person and want to help you succeed,” the friends and relationships she has formed, and the fact that “you can worship the Lord freely and are given opportunities to do so.”
Anna Grace hasn’t always felt so comfortable at school or even “in her own skin.” While transferring to Hillcrest has helped her find her place, she is also open about her struggles with depression, and is willing to share about the ways she has learned to tackle this obstacle. One of them is by studying God’s word, and one passage, in particular, has brought her comfort: 2 Samuel 22, verses 2 and 3 state, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.” Anna Grace says these promises help to keep her moving forward. She also advises her peers to seek the Lord first, and she further wants to urge them to “Be yourself. LOVE EVERYONE, despite what they’ve done to you. Forgive those who have done you wrong. And always smile because it’s beautiful, and it makes you feel great.”
When she is not at school, Anna Grace enjoys reading, playing with her cats Ollie and Jango, and working at Randall Veterinary Hospital; this job reflects her desires to make a difference in the world by helping and caring for all life, animals and people alike. She has learned that by “loving on and caring for” treasured pets when they have to be away from their homes, she is also showing love to their human owners. This has led Anna Grace to map out her future as a Veterinary Technologist. After she graduates from Hillcrest in May, she plans to attend Mississippi State University and major in Pre-Vet Medical Technology. She then hopes to work for a few years as a Vet Tech, unless she instead decides to continue her education by matriculating into the College of Veterinary Medicine. Eventually, Anna Grace wants to own her own clinic and to work specifically with horses.