Madeline Wright is on track to become the first college graduate in her family. She says the desire to achieve this goal is her “greatest motivation,” and she works hard to make her dreams a reality. Initially, she was anxious about the cost of college, but she has assuaged those concerns with research and planning. Now, she says her own fears are her biggest obstacle, but she has strategies to overcome those as well. “I remind myself of how far I have come,” she says, “and simply keep striving to pursue a higher education and motivate others to do the same.”
She is a recent graduate of San Pedro High School, where she was deeply involved on campus and held numerous leadership roles. She was an officer for several campus clubs, including the School Site Council, American Red Cross Club, and End It! Human Trafficking Awareness Club. In her sophomore and junior years, she was elected to serve as class president, and, in her senior year, served as Associated Student Body president.
Outside of school, she volunteered with the UCLA PreMed Summer Scholars Program and the UCLA PreMed Volunteer Program as a Patient Transporter. Additionally, she was deeply involved in the local Boys and Girls Club of San Pedro, and was a member of their National Keystone Leadership Program.
Her numerous accolades include being named to the National Society of High School Scholars, and earning a Certificate of Recognition for Creative and Innovative Contribution to Water Sustainability from the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. She also had the opportunity to participate in the UCLA Riordan Scholars Program, where she was the Stock Market Team Lead, and its Stock Market Competition Winner.
Moving forward, Madeline plans to study the sciences and to complete a PhD and MD in neuroscience, with a focus on chemical dependency. Ultimately, she would like to work as a neurosurgeon and to open chemical dependency treatment clinics in areas where they are needed.
Last July, Madeline was one of 152 top students who were invited to attend the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s 2018 Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) at the University of Southern California. YLI is a four-day, overnight conference that gives outstanding Latino rising high school seniors the practical tools they need to set a course for success in college and career. She says it is an honor to be part of the HSF network, which she describes as “a community that inspires and empowers” both success and pride for Latinos.
She encourages students who are considering college to stay determined in the pursuit of their goals, regardless of their circumstances. “If you can't afford a program, apply for a scholarship, talk to your mentors, or fundraise for your cause,” she says. “The amount of work you put into your goals is the same amount of reward you will receive from them. Research free programs that pertain to your interests, network with as many people as possible, and put 110% effort into everything you do. There is always a path out there for you; your willingness to walk it will determine how far you go.”