At the beginning of her senior year of high school, Brooke Bibeault found herself at a crossroads.
She was already pretty busy. A student at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational-Technical High School in Upton, Mass., Bibeault says she had been involved in just about everything.
“I played on both the varsity basketball team and the varsity track-and-field team since my freshman year,” she explains. And that’s just the beginning.
A SkillsUSA member and medalist, Bibeault was also active in Students for Environmental Awareness, the school’s fashion and aviation clubs, its student ambassadors group and the Leo Club, the youth organization for the Lions. She was an officer in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and DECA, the association for marketing students.
But then last November, Bibeault was selected as Miss Massachusetts Teen USA. As basketball season approached, she wondered if it was time to cut back.
“I was taking several AP [advanced placement] classes, modeling part-time, [serving as] president of FBLA and vice president of DECA and, most importantly, crowned Miss Massachusetts Teen USA!
“I felt so honored and fortunate to have that title that I wanted to put 110 percent of my effort into that,” she says.
Elizabeth Ritchie, her AP history teacher, changed her mind. She asked, “Brooke, whoever said you can’t do it all?”
It made such an impact that the student decided right then to do the things she loved to do. “It dawned on me, I could give 110 percent to everything I did,” Bibeault says.
In SkillsUSA, she competed with her state’s Entrepreneurship team at last summer’s National Leadership and Skills Conference. The team’s project focused on eliminating the use of harsh chemicals and nonbiodegradable substances to lower an individual’s carbon footprint.
“We did a lot of research — I mean, two whole years of research to create environmentally friendly products,” Bibeault says. “Our company was ‘EN-V,’ and our tagline was ‘Teens for Green.’ ”
The project started at her school, but the message began to grow. “It spread throughout our community to local stores. From that, we were able to attend business expos and lectures,” Bibeault explains. “We were also able to travel to middle schools and elementary schools throughout our community to speak with them about the importance of going green.”
Reaching the nationals in Kansas City, Mo., the team won the bronze medal. The experience was an important one for Bibeault. In addition to helping with presentation and communication skills, she says it gave her a different perspective. “SkillsUSA opened me up to an entirely new way of life. It showed me that through perseverance, determination and integrity, you can accomplish anything.”
Bibeault adds that’s she grateful her advisor, Janis Tebo of the business technology department at Blackstone Valley, asked her to be a part of the team.
On top of her duties as Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, Bibeault works part-time as a fashion model, participating recently in both the Couture and Mercedes Benz Fashion Weeks.
“Both were great experiences,” she says. “It is a totally different ballgame when you get to that level.”
Speaking of ballgames, Bibeault served as co-captain of Blackstone Valley’s varsity basketball team. The team finished a great season, making it all the way to the second round of the district playoffs. “It was most definitely the season I will always remember,” she says.
Another lasting memory is sure to be her recent acting role in the upcoming sequel to the “Sex and the City” movie. Bibeault auditioned on a whim and landed a speaking part.
Was she intimidated by all the big-time celebrities? “I was so excited!” she replies. “I met the entire cast.”
She remembers a funny moment on set when actress Kim Cattrall, who reprises her role as Samantha, walked up at the end of a long day and began talking to her like an old friend.
“Then she paused and looked at me and said, ‘I am so rude! I’m so sorry, I didn’t introduce myself. My name is Kim.’ I started to laugh and greeted her, yet deep down I’m thinking, ‘No kidding!’ ”
Bibeault says the experience of acting in a major motion picture was a positive one. “Everyone was very kind and genuine.”
While not competing this year, she still finds time for SkillsUSA. “I was asked to become an ambassador for the Community Service team’s message ‘Together We Can,’ also known as Blackstone Valley Tech’s Cancer Awareness Network,” she says. “I felt honored to get involved so I could use that message and express to others that the idea is all about the importance of early detection, and how participating in charity events raises funds for cancer research to hopefully one day put an end to it.”
All of this still begs the question, how can she do it all?
“It’s all about respect, ambition, perseverance, integrity, honesty and time management,” Bibeault answers. “I can honestly say that I am doing everything I love and more.”