It’s not every day that you see a teen signing up to spend her summer in an autopsy lab, but 17-year-old Libriti Aniah Marie Greene is no ordinary teen.
I caught up with her recently to discuss how she balances it all — school, work in a pathology lab, extracurriculars, community service and planning for her future.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I live with my parents and younger brother in Stevenson Ranch. I also have an older brother [Hunter Greene] who is a pitcher for MLB’s Cincinnati Reds. We’re a close-knit family and love to spend time together on weekends fishing, attending plays, art shows and weekend sports events like my water polo games, my brother’s soccer games and traveling to my older brother’s baseball games whenever he is on the mound.
What sports and extracurricular activities are you involved in?
I have been on the Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High School water polo team since freshman year. I’ve also been part of the debate team for three years, competing as a policy debater and World School debater, which means competing on a national level against varsity debaters. I am also a Moreau Mentor, a program that welcomes new students and helps them acclimate throughout the first year of their high school experience. In addition to that, I have been a representative for Notre Dame’s Black Student Union for three years and on the Associated Student Body. Outside of school, I volunteer with an organization called Hope in a Suitcase, which provides children in foster care with brand-new clothing, shoes and toiletries, and with my brother’s charitable organization.
What has been the most challenging part of high school?
The most challenging part of high school has been finding a way to stand out from other students. Every day, I try to make an impact on campus, whether it is in debate, water polo, Moreau Mentors or BSU. Sometimes the adolescent voice isn’t heard and respected. Being a voice for the student body with several different clubs becomes a challenge trying to promote change. I want to leave high school knowing I made a difference and supported my peers.
Tell us about your internship with 1-800-Autopsy.
I started at 1-800-Autopsy at 14, during my freshman year. I work hands-on with two separate teams of pathologists and technicians and have assisted in 19 autopsies from start to finish. The autopsies have been on newborns, women and men who had cerebral palsy, and some that died of pneumonia, head trauma, cancer and coronary-artery disease. My experience ranges from taking in all the decedent’s medical history, performing the “Y cut” incision and breaking the rib cage and removing the chest plate to get to the organs. I also know how to remove the brain, cut tissue samples, prepare slides for the pathologists and stitch a body back up after preserving tissue samples.
That’s quite impressive. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself finishing my undergraduate years and beginning to transition into medical school. I would be incredibly fortunate to have an internship or job working for a doctor who would be willing to mentor me. I hope to be happy and still have the same passion I have had about medicine for the last few years and remain determined to fulfill my dreams.
Have there been any challenges in life that have prepared you for where you want to go in the future?
My experience of surviving a rare form of cancer gave me a direct account and understanding of what people who turn into patients go through. I want to become a doctor so I can connect with those who are in the same position I was in as a child, living in a hospital for a few years, not being around a lot of people and having to learn to fit in with different groups of people. I think because of the adversity in my life, I am even more empowered to strive for greatness and achieve excellence.
Do you have a motto that you live by?
There are four that I like. One: “Life is what you make of it.” Two: “Compete with yourself to make the best version of you.” Three: “It’s not about what you know, it’s about what you apply.” And four, one by [the rapper] Drake: “Don’t get hype for the moment then start to backpedal.”