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McNamara graduate hopes to help people ‘feel beautiful in their own skin

Amber Wimbish, a member of the class of 2024 at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, will attend Duke University this fall on a pre-med track. (Photo courtesy of Bishop McNamara High School)

Addressing her own skin issues and finding a doctor she could relate to lead Amber Wimbish to choose what she would pursue as her future career.

Wimbish – who graduates this year from Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland – said she decided to become a dermatologist because “with my own issues, I went to numerous dermatologists – some contributed to my healing and some did not.”

“One of my best (doctors) was a young black female dermatologist who kind of inspired me,” Wimbish said. “You do not see many dermatologists who look like me.”

As a dermatologist, Wimbish said it is her goal “to help make people feel beautiful in their skin because I know how it was to have self-esteem issues because of your skin.”

A resident of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Wimbish is the daughter of Rhonda Wimbish and Antione Hudson. She has three older brothers.

In preparation for her future career, Wimbish – who graduates from the Congregation of the Holy Cross-sponsored high school with a 4.2 grade point average – was a member of the high school’s Pre-Health Careers Club. Wimbish said the club is for students interested in discussing and discovering different careers in the medical field.

Looking back on her time at McNamara, she pointed to the advanced placement African American Studies and the honors Anatomy and Physiology classes as her favorites. Those classes, she said, allowed her to have discussions about issues affecting Black Americans and to learn how the body moves.

Outside of the classroom, Wimbish distinguished herself as an outstanding track athlete. She broke several McNamara school records, and can run the 800-meter race in 2 minutes and 11 seconds. Any time under 2:45 is considered an excellent performance in that race.

She and teammates represented McNamara at the prestigious Penn Relays. Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the three-day event is the oldest track and field competition in the United States. While Wimbish and her team did not take home any top prizes, they did set a McNamara school record for the fastest time in the 4 x 800 meter relay.

Off the track, Wimbish participated in cheerleading and she was a member of McNamara’s Traditional African Music and Dance /Sankofa group.

“No other school offers anything like this,” Wimbish said of the group. She added that traditional African dance “is a lot of work and rigorous.”

As a matter of fact, it was her love of dancing that originally introduced her to McNamara. She was originally planning on attending St. John’s College High School, the alma mater of her father.

“The studio where I used to rehearse was near here,” she explained. “I had a lot of friends going here, and I never heard anything about it, so I decided to come here. I am glad I did.”

Although she was accepted to numerous universities – including Fordham, the University of Maryland, the University of California, Louisiana State University and others – Wimbish will attend Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on a pre-med track.

She chose that private university because “it offered me the best of both worlds.” She said the school has “many things to offer and has amazing academics and amazing athletics.” Wimbish will participate in Duke’s Collegiate Athlete Premedical Experience (CAPE) program that mentors female student-athletes who are interested the field of medicine, allows them to shadow doctors and helps them apply to medical school.

Wimbish said her education at McNamara has prepared her for ambitious goals.

“I love the community here,” she said. “There is a homey feeling here, and there is an amazing staff that caters to you and worries about your well-being. There are not many places where you can say that.”