Born in Voorhees, New Jersey, I cannot possibly call that my hometown. I was literally just born there. For the first nine years of my life, I lived in Clinton, Mississippi and then moved to what became my hometown, Madison, Mississippi, where I grew up, loved, struggled, cried, laughed, sang, danced, lived, and graduated.
I have two absolutely amazing sisters that mean everything to me. My older sister lives in New Orleans, Louisiana and currently studies at Tulane Medical School. My younger sister resides in Madison, Mississippi with her adoptive siblings, Samantha, Stephanie, and David and wonderful parents Scott and Janeanne Lee. Over the past few years, I've realized how important my sisters have been toward my development as an individual and they've become my best friends. We are closer than ever.
In high school, I was a huge fan of band, taking role as drum major and then a clarinet player on the field. I absolutely loved marching season and the spirit of my high school. I took part in Reveille show choir my senior year where I learned what competition meant. It meant smiling and dancing and singing your heart out in heels even if you were exhausted at two in the morning for finals. Music has always been my form of expression. I played piano for a few years and of course, sang and danced. I could dance all day.
I absolutely love being active, dancing in my room, swimming, playing sports, which leaves me to not be so fond of other leisurely activities, like reading, and I cannot stand to watch television. I can eat an entire jar of peanut butter, or two, in one sitting. Therefore, PEANUT BUTTER, cashews, oatmeal creme pies, vegetables (not carrots), and hot tea are my favorite "food groups." I am my happiest in winter, and blowing bubbles in the winter is the best stress-reliever. I've been writing a book since the eighth grade and someday hope to get the time to finish it. Dr. Paul Farmer, who began Partners in Health, is my all time role model, and I hope to follow in his footsteps.
Giving advice and help to people is something that means a lot to me. Having experienced a lot, I feel like I have a lot to share with people dealing with similar circumstances and am here for anyone who needs me. I've been shaped by several rough life's experiences and even though I struggle, I would not take back a thing I have learned, for it makes me who I have become today.
My mom taught me the best parts of life, to play in the rain, to dress up to make myself feel better, to stay up late for no reason, to shop with coins laying around, to dance in front of the mirror, to create amazing food from what's laying around, to accept mistakes as an experience, to believe in the beauty of everything, and most importantly to smile...her smile always made my day. And I hope I can do the same for others.
Applying to the Baldwin Scholars' Program is one of the best decisions I have made. In addition to the friendship of my two sisters, I feel that I am developing some of the most meaningful, lifelong friendships with the other Baldwins of my class. I've gotten to meet so many of the amazing scholars and am so impressed by the impact of this program. I cannot wait for the years to come.
One of my favorite quotes is by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: "People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
And I firmly believe that every Baldwin I have met radiates that light.