Madison Mastrangelo ’15
“Be confident in your abilities.”
“As a 5-year-old, I would run into birthday parties, toss the wrapped present in a pile and sprint away, with my curls waving goodbye. Simply put, I was unbearably shy, and large groups of people terrified me. I grew friendlier as I got older, but I remained reserved and comfortable in smaller environments.
“After eight years at a local private school, I took a huge step outside my comfort zone and moved to Kent Place for high school. In my years at Kent Place, I became more confident and continually challenged myself. I met friends from all parts of New Jersey, survived soccer preseason and discovered a passion for ethics. As a sophomore, I participated in The Bioethics Project and presented my research to over 500 community members and ethics scholars. I would have never imagined myself at a podium in a gym packed with people. While the experience was nerve-wracking, I grew as a student and as an individual. I started to be a strong voice in class discussions, a club leader and a more outgoing person.“I spent this summer working at New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center, selected through DukeEngage New Orleans, an immersive-service program, to intern in both marketing and public policy. I am now a junior at Duke University, and I am studying abroad in Stockholm, Sweden, this semester. That shy girl who ran out of birthday parties? She has transformed into a young woman who is not afraid to take advantage of new opportunities and embark on adventures. My advice? Challenge yourself, operate outside your comfort zone and be confident in your abilities. You never know the person who you can become.”