Samantha Sporn '18
Q: What are three words you would use to describe Madeira to someone else?
Inclusive. Spirited. Empowering.
Q: What is it like being a day student at a boarding/day school?
Though there are unique benefits to being a boarder at Madeira, I love being a day student. I get to be a part of Madeira's intimate community and still live at home. I only having a short commute every morning and afternoon. It is so nice being able to have all three meals at school, and having the option to sleep at school over night should the need arise. Some people expect that there will be an extreme separation between boarding and day students, but this isn’t the case since day students participate in activities at Madeira and make an effort to stay connected with those who live on campus.
Q: Describe a favorite Madeira memory.
My favorite Madeira memories are times I spend with my best friends talking and laughing, and listening to music on the Oval, surrounded by the beautiful nature of Madeira's campus.
Q: What is your favorite Madeira tradition and why?
I have two favorite Madeira traditions. My first is Founder's Day because it is a day full of spontaneous celebration, food, activities, and spending time with your best friends. My second favorite tradition is Thanksgiving dinner. This is a night very close to Thanksgiving where all students come together and eat a delicious Thanksgiving meal after lighting candles around The Oval.
Q: Tell us about your Co-Curriculum experience. What has it been like to volunteer off-campus.
I am currently in my sophomore Co-Curriculum placement at Garfield Elementary. Garfield is a Title I elementary school located in Springfield, VA. At Garfield, I assist children in grades K-3 with learning as well as helping their teachers with various tasks. I am able to directly impact those in my community in a positive way, and my placement is a great fit because I love working with kids. There is nothing like the feeling of walking into a classroom full of kids smiling at you, the joy on their face purely because they are looking forward to both school and spending time with you. I love to make a difference in their lives each day just as they have made a difference in my life.
Q: What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class (and teacher) has been Storytelling with Mrs. Candia. I love English and the class was very small, making it a comfortable environment for me to learn and grow as a writer. Mrs. Candia was so welcoming and enthusiastic and it was a great way to start off both the year and my Madeira experience.
Q: What activities, sports and/or clubs are you involved with?
I am part of many clubs including Girl Up, the Fitness Club, Best Buddies, Young Democrats, and the Madeira Cooking Club. I was also part of Latin Club and JAM last year. I play varsity softball in the spring. These activities have helped me meet new people with common interests and have encouraged me to explore passions as well as new ideas.
Q: What is the best thing about living near Washington, D.C.?
D.C. is a location full of opportunity for enrichment. Being able to take advantage of political events and be so close to where so many important decisions for our country our constantly being made is a truly unique and fascinating experience. Living and going to school so close to DC has helped to cultivate my personal interest in the political process and current events.
Q: In what ways have you changed since coming to Madeira?
Since coming to Madeira, I have begun a journey of discovery of who I am and how I want my identity to shape my future. I have gained confidence and will continue to do so throughout my next three years at Madeira. I have also begun to see what topics I find most interesting and have started to focus on them when planning for classes I want to take or projects I want to take on. I have made so many close friendships that I believe will last far beyond our graduation from Madeira.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give a student who is interested in attending Madeira?
The advice I'd give to a student interested in attending Madeira is that you should embrace every opportunity, whether it be something scary or something familiar, and cherish every friendship made, because you will not believe the close-knit community of sisters you will have even after a few months at Madeira.