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Believe in Her: Mae-Lin Pinkstaff ’24

mae lin pinkstaff 24

Mae-Lin Pinkstaff ’24 has been awarded the Stamps Scholarship, a multi-year scholarship that will cover the entirety of the cost of her attendance at the University of Notre Dame. She plans on studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) with a pre-medicine track to pursue a career in the biomedical field. “I still can’t believe I was awarded such a great opportunity,” says Mae-Lin.

Mae-Lin was born and raised in Walnut Creek and attended a public middle school before coming to Carondelet. “I chose to enroll at Carondelet after a Shadow Day, where I observed the girls’ confidence in the classrooms and their kindness to each other,” she says. “The single-gender education has helped me to build my confidence, especially as a girl in STEM. The class environment fosters a sense of empowerment and confidence, encouraging students to pursue their goals and aspirations with determination.” Mae-Lin has a lot to be proud of. As an AP Scholar with distinction, she has taken the maximum number of AP courses allowed each year at Carondelet and earned the highest award for AP testers. One class she found especially rigorous was AP Calculus with Dr. Barboza during her sophomore year: “It was a challenging course. I did not do too well at the beginning of the year and started going to Dr. Barboza’s office hours. Not only did I get my grade up, but I also learned more about math and how brilliant Dr. Barboza is. I slowly built up my confidence and he made me believe in myself and my ability.”

club fair In addition to her academic achievements, Mae-Lin excels in her co-curriculars too, as a four-year Varsity tennis player, Varsity Co-Captain of the Carondelet & De La Salle Trap Team, a four-year recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, and President and Founder of the SWENext (Society of Women Engineers) Club. “I founded the SWENext Club my sophomore year because I was interested in science and math, and aspired to pursue engineering like my mother and brother,” says Mae-Lin. “I think that it is important that everyone contributes to the Sisterhood, and I wanted to make a difference in the STEM community at Carondelet.”

food bank “Be sure to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone,” Mae-Lin shares, as a lesson learned while at Carondelet. “Make sure to take the opportunities that are made available to you, such as challenging academics and volunteer opportunities, so that you can learn from these experiences. This way, you can apply the knowledge gained throughout your life.”

“Carondelet is such a wonderful place to build the skills and confidence needed to succeed in life, especially in an under-represented field for women such as STEM,” says Mae-Lin. “I would like to return to Carondelet to share my journey and to give back to the Sisterhood.”

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