Maddi Schink '23 in Running for Truman Scholarship

Maddison “Maddi” Schink ’23 admits that she’s feeling nervous as she awaits the next step in the process toward becoming a Truman Scholar. When she first learned she was a finalist for the prestigious honor, she felt elation and disbelief, she says.

The scholarship, inspired by President Harry S. Truman and established in 1975, provides funding for graduate studies and leadership training. It also opens doors to career counseling and internship and fellowship opportunities in the federal government as stepping stones to public service leadership.

Schink, a native of Fort Collins, Colorado, is majoring in environmental studies and minoring in education. Growing up near the Rocky Mountains helped her appreciate the natural world.

“Environmental studies excite me because it is equipping me with the skills to not only protect the places that I love, but to advocate for the communities that are most impacted by a changing climate,” she says.

She recognizes that she’s luckier than those who haven’t spent their lives connecting with nature as she has, and she plans to change that. She wants a career that addresses and alleviates the inaccessibility of environmental education as she advocates for policy changes that will protect Earth for future generations.

“I think that my education minor will serve me far beyond the walls of a classroom. The communication, empathy, and critical thinking skills that my education minor has provided will follow me wherever I go,” she says.

Schink knew that she wanted to attend a small liberal arts college so she could graduate as a well-rounded person who developed close relationships with classmates and professors. She also loved the opportunities CC offered, including student grants, study abroad, and an office for community engagement.

The school has given her the skills to be a critical global thinker, Schink explains.

“I am much more confident in my ability to recognize flaws in a system and come up with potential solutions. I think that this will serve me well in my desired career path in public service. The Block Plan has also taught me how to work hard, stay organized, and manage my time.”

Schink also says her persistence, empathy, and ability to be creative and flexible have served her well at CC and will continue to help her pursue her goals.

She is a 2018 Boettcher Scholar and, in 2021, won the Gilman Award and the Henri “Skip” Meis 1963 Emerging Student Leader Award.

Schink hasn’t applied to any specific programs yet and plans to take a year off before graduate school. She hopes to travel so she can continue building her intercultural skills along with engaging in public service.

This year’s Truman Scholar competition drew 705 applications from 275 institutions, and Schink is among 189 students from 126 institutions named as finalists. They will go through virtual interviews with the foundation’s review panels that conclude April 4; winners will be announced by April 15.

Schink’s interview is scheduled for March 11.

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