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, and more specifically, born and raised in Houston. Growing up in Houston has profoundly shaped who I am and what I value: above all, the diversity of my city and the melting pot of cultures/identities represented there have taught me to appreciate learning from and collaborating with others. This is one of the many reasons I am thrilled to be able to spend the rest of my future continuously growing and evolving as part of a vast, intellectual community of ambitious, powerful Baldwins.
Family is really important to me, and it is because I've had my parents and my siblings in my corner that I've been so successful in my life. My mom's heart of gold is why I champion kindness, empathy, and humility. My dad's work ethic and drive are why I never give up, never stop trying, and never admit defeat in the face of a challenge. My brother’s adventurous nature and creativity are why I place a premium on risk-taking and stepping out of my comfort zone. And my sister's eternal optimism is why I radiate positivity and hopefulness everywhere I go. The Lord couldn't have blessed me with a better family to love and feel loved by.
Not only am I fueled by my love for my family, but I'm also energized by my passion for uplifting underserved and economically-disadvantaged students through disseminating educational resources, tools, and advice to them. Because I recognize the injustice that some children are better positioned to thrive in the classroom simply due to coming from high-income households with involved parents, I decided to found my own nonprofit called Mack’s School Prep (MSP) with the mission of serving as a role model who empowers under-resourced high schoolers to take advantage of their education and get into a top college/university.
Since the inception of MSP back in 2019, which was during the Gap Year I took before matriculating at Duke, I've leveraged my website www.mackschoolprep.com and my YouTube Channel (Mack’s School Prep TV) to help meet the needs of underserved and overlooked students by providing them with a plethora of free informational videos and other tools so that they can better overcome the obstacles impeding their academic success and educational goals. Because making a difference in others' lives is so important to me, it is beyond gratifying to be using MSP to inspire so many students to believe in themselves and maximize their academic potential.
My passion for education equity, in addition to my belief that access to a high-quality education is a right, have incentivized me to pursue a career as an attorney who works to improve educational policy so that no child is left behind in their learning and so that every child has an equal opportunity to succeed and be intellectually-challenged in school. To better prepare me for this career path, I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education at Duke. Furthermore, I spend my time outside of the classroom working for nonprofits in Durham—such as the Emily K. Center and Students to Scholars—that are dedicated to providing academic counseling and support to students from historically marginalized backgrounds. All in all, it is the biggest honor to be pursuing my goals and dreams alongside Baldwins who are just as devoted as me to living a life of impact, leadership, and service!