Hi, my name is Mackenzie Warren, and I'm very grateful and honored to be a part of the Baldwin Scholars Class of 2024!
I'm from the great state of Texas, born and raised in Houston. As an avid lover of food, I appreciate the delicious Tex-Mex, seafood, barbecue, and steaks of my hometown. Growing up in Houston profoundly shaped who I am today, and I'm not just referencing my insanely frequent use of the word "y'all". More importantly, the diversity of my city has taught me to appreciate learning from others. This is why I'm absolutely stoked to have the opportunity to spend all four years of my undergraduate experience continuously growing and evolving from my interactions with such a vast intellectual community of ambitious, powerful women in Baldwin.
Family is really important to me. My family unit of five includes my mom, dad, brother who is 14 months younger than me, and sister who is 15 years my senior. Being biracial (my mom is white, and my dad is black) is a huge part of my identity that has contributed to my enthusiasm for human connection, as I truly enjoy getting to know the unique, special background that others bring to the table. On a different note, I know for a fact that I wouldn't be nearly as successful and accomplished as I have been without having my parents and siblings in my corner, since they are the reason behind the core values I live by. It's because of my mom that I champion kindness, empathy, and humility. It's because of my dad that I never give up, never stop trying, and never admit defeat in every endeavor that I commit myself to. It's because of my brother that I place a premium on risk-taking and stepping out of my comfort zone. And it's because of my sister that I radiate positivity and hopefulness, even in the face of adversity. It couldn't be a bigger blessing to have a family that I can forever count on to be a reliable source of love, support, encouragement, and advice!
Not only am I fueled by my love for my family, but I'm also energized by my passion for uplifting others through the dissemination of educational resources. For example, the summer before my sophomore year of high school, I founded an academic achievement club called Swimming Downstream (SDS). For the three years I ran SDS, I mentored incoming ninth-graders by holding weekly meetings that equipped them with the skill set needed to have a smooth transition and succeed in their new academic environment. My experience with SDS revealed that some students are better positioned to thrive in the classroom due to coming from high-income households with involved parents. This realization motivated me to found a Texas nonprofit called Mack’s School Prep (MSP) during my gap year before attending Duke, so that I could be a role model who empowers under-resourced high schoolers to take advantage of their education. MSP helps meet the needs of low-income students’ by providing them with a plethora of videos and other resources so they can better overcome the obstacles impeding their academic success and educational goals. I currently leverage www.mackschoolprep.com and my YouTube Channel (Mack’s School Prep TV) to show economically disadvantaged students how to apply my comprehensive blueprint of study techniques to their lives. Because making a difference in others' lives is so important to me, it's incredibly gratifying that I’ve been successful at using MSP and SDS to inspire students to believe in themselves and maximize their academic potential.
My passion for helping others open the door to a prosperous future has incentivized me to pursue a career as an attorney so that I can advocate on behalf of overlooked and underserved populations. At Duke, I plan on majoring in Cultural Anthropology or Psychology and minoring in Education. Furthermore, I'm currently on the Duke Mock Trial Team and a member of the Duke Inside Education Club. I couldn't be more thrilled to collaborate with my Baldwin Sisters as I tap into all of Duke's wonderful resources and continue living a life of impact, leadership, and public service!