Irene Madrigal - Class of 2020

Scholar Name: Irene Madrigal
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Member School: The Berkeley Carroll School
College/University: Barnard College of Columbia University
Major: Undecided but planning on English with an Education Minor

How did A Better Chance prepare you for your Member School experience? 
A Better Chance prepared me for my Member School experience by helping me to see that no matter the obstacles that came my way, I would always be able to overcome them and succeed at whatever I chose to pursue. I was given the confidence I needed to jump right into my new school, ready to partake in all the academic and extracurricular opportunities at my disposal. 

What is the most important lesson you learned in high school? 
While this may sound a little cliche, the most important lesson I learned in high school was to believe in myself and to never give up, no matter how hard the obstacles before me seemed to be. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure I would be able to succeed and perform on the same level as my peers, but by trusting in myself and using every resource available to me at my member school I was able to gain the necessary knowledge and confidence to thrive. Through hard work and determination, I proved to myself that I was capable of rising to any challenge, and it is a lesson that will stick with me as I head off to college and beyond.

Why did you decide to attend your specific college/university?
I chose to attend Barnard College because of its strong commitment to educating and empowering young women so that they may become leaders and changemakers in their community, something very important to me as I one day hope to work to make my local and national community a safer and more just place for everyone to live in. As well, I chose Barnard because of its central location in the heart of NYC, which would allow me to both be close to friends and family and give me the ability to benefit from the bountiful resources—restaurants, museums, theatre shows, and internships to name a few—available in the city. Finally, I chose Barnard for its plentiful extracurricular opportunities, strong alumni network, and strong academic departments—particularly in History, English, and Education. 

How does it align with your future goals and passions?
Attending Barnard will help me to learn how I can best work to ensure that everyone who comes after me will have access to all the resources and opportunities they need to become their best and most successful selves. Barnard will give me the tools I need to begin shaping my future career and the kind of person I wish to be when I am older.

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