"Bright College Years"

"Bright College Years"
Posted on 2014/12/12

December 2014

This is the time of the year when students are anxiously checking the mailbox for college acceptance letters.  But senior Madison O’Neal was waiting for an email, and just a few days ago she got the email of her dreams.  Maddy, as she is called by family and friends, received notification that she was accepted to Yale University under a full ride scholarship.

This extraordinary accomplishment has been in the making for most of her life.  By the time she entered kindergarten she was already reading and comprehending, to the amazement of her teacher.  She continued this trend of working above grade level throughout her elementary years participating in the gifted programs offered at those schools.  Maddy and her family credit the dedication of her teachers who were always willing to find ways to challenge her inquisitive nature.  Since becoming a student of Moon Valley High School, she has continued excellence in her academics as well as finding time to cultivate a leadership role on our campus and in our community.  In addition to many community service hours through National Honor Society, Spanish NHS, and ROTC, she founded what is now a 501c3 charitable organization called BASE.  Also, this spring she will complete her fourth year of competing as part of the Lady Rockets Softball team.  It was her passion for this sport that drove her to form Bringing Athletes Sports Equipment, Inc, helping to make extracurricular sports accessible to young athletes who might not otherwise be able to participate.

All of these phenomenal achievements helped culminate in the realization of her ambition to attend one of America’s most reputable universities.  This past September marked the deadline for submitting applications to compete for a QuestBridge Scholarship.  This organization seeks to match under-served youth with exceptional academic achievement to colleges and scholarship opportunities.  The agency began with over 11,000 applicants who completed over 28 pages composed of application, essays, short answer questions and school recommendations.  At mid-October, the finalists were narrowed down to 4,180 applicants who needed to complete college applications to their top eight choices.  The timeframe was rigorous as prospects had only 10 days to return these along with supplemental information.  From there, QuestBridge goes through a complex matching process which resulted in 501 matches out of the original four thousand.  Maddy is receiving tuition, room and board, books, travel and money for some additional expenses which in total earned her a scholarship worth approximately $275,000!

Congratulations to Maddy for such a grand accomplishment and we will be wishing her the very best as she embarks on a remarkable journey in New Haven, Connecticut.