Until he was 14 years old, Cameron Beech of John Marshall High School never really had a high self-esteem. He says that people were always putting him down and telling him he was not good at sports. “I never really believed in myself,” Cameron said. “I never had friends to tell me I should be the best that I could.”
It all changed one summer when his travel baseball team, the 3D Boys Metro All-Star Team, was playing in the Richmond Metro City-Wide Tournament. His team was down 3-2 and he was all that was left between victory and defeat. Swinging “faster than ever before,” Cameron’s hit between center and left resulted in an inside-the-park homerun. This hit not only allowed his team to win the tournament, but it also showed Cameron that he was capable of extraordinary things. “I felt like that was the first time in life I actually accomplished something on my own,” he said.
This newfound sense of confidence and optimism helped Cameron to become the student and athlete he is today. Boasting a 4.17 GPA at John Marshall High School, Cameron is involved in track and field, football, basketball and baseball. He is also a section leader for the saxophones in the marching band and the captain of the varsity baseball team. “I like to stay active, I have a busy schedule,” he said.
Cameron’s teachers, like English Department Chairperson Laura E. Ramsey, also say they see a natural leader in him. “Cameron is a fine young man and a role model for his peers,” Ramsey said. “A leader in and out of the classroom, his maturity, manners and respectful nature truly set him apart from his classmates.”
Cameron hopes to continue this classroom leadership in college. He has shown interest in and applied to Virginia Tech, George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Though still waiting on letters from each of these schools, he is hoping to attend Virginia Tech in the fall. He plans to major in pre-med or biology in hopes of someday becoming an anesthesiologist. He said he feels this job is fit for him because anesthesiologists have to stay calm in emergency situations. “I do well under pressure,” Cameron said.
Though he’s come a long way from being the boy who never believed in himself, Cameron says he owes it to his mother, Alicia Beech, who he says is his greatest inspiration. “She pushes me very hard and helps me accomplish things in life. She never lets me down,” he said. He also adds that when he didn’t even believe in himself, she told him he could be better than everyone else. He says he just had to show himself.