Part of the team: Alumni reflect on value, impact of BCPS education

Team BCPS Day is just one day away. It’s a chance for students, faculty, families, and the community to share their pride in Baltimore County Public Schools.

While current BCPS students and staff are a big part of why we celebrate this day, it’s also a great time to catch up with our alumni.

Team BCPS has been lucky to have excellent student leadership, and we’re keeping tabs on their progress in college. In the profiles below, meet four recent alumni whose BCPS educations not only prepared them for college but also inspired their future careers.

Nick Burton-Prateley

Nick Burton-Prateley

College and class year: College of William and Mary, Class of 2019

Majors: Finance and international relations, concentrating in consulting

Campus involvement: I’m part of a social fraternity and my school’s Investment Club.

High school and class year: Hereford High School, Class of 2016

Leadership role in BCPS: President of Baltimore County Student Councils (BCSC), 2015-2016

Future plans: I’d like to study in the United Kingdom. I’d also like to earn a master’s degree in business analytics and a doctorate in mathematical finance.

How BCPS prepared me for the future: Serving as the Baltimore County Student Councils president gave me experiences you can’t find in the classroom. Through my position, I was exposed to real-world situations where I had to apply what I had learned to many different problems. It also helped me improve my public speaking skills and feel confident interacting with adult leaders.

Danielle Maduka

Danielle Maduka

College and class year: Georgetown University, Class of 2019

Major: Healthcare management and policy

Minor: Pre-medicine

Campus involvement: Aside from my academics, I’m a volunteer EMT for the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service, a student-run emergency ambulance service that serves the Georgetown campus as well as the Georgetown community. I’m also a member of the provost’s Committee for Diversity, which is a group composed of students, administrators, staff, and faculty who work to address issues that minority students face on campus. And I work with Georgetown’s Center for Multicultural Equity and Access and the African Society of Georgetown to support underrepresented students of color, diversify thought on campus, and heighten cultural sensitivity.

High school and class year: Western School of Technology and Environmental Science, Class of 2015

Leadership role in BCPS: Student member of the Board of Education (SMOB), 2014-2015

Future plans: I’m very passionate about health care, and my ultimate goal is to go to medical school. However, I’m also interested in health care policy and global health, specifically related to maternal and child health. I hope to find a means of combining some of these interests and passions.

How BCPS prepared me for the future: During my time as a BCPS student, I was pushed and challenged in every way possible. I learned very early on in high school what it meant to be intrinsically motivated. This not only prepared me for the rigor of college and approaching challenges; it also has had a significant impact on my outlook on life as I look at challenges as a means of learning.

BCPS also provided me with opportunities that allowed me to develop and build upon many of my professional skills. This was incredibly significant, especially as I will be entering the workforce in just a few years.

And BCPS helped me develop a passion for giving back, helping others, and using healthcare as a means of pursuing these interests.

Tres McMichael

Tres McMichael

College and class year: Elon University, Class of 2019

Major: Music theatre

Minors: African and African-American studies, leadership studies, and arts administration

Campus involvement: At Elon, I’m the secretary for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., the director of administration for the National Pan-Hellenic Council, a social media ambassador, and an Isabella Cannon Leadership fellow. In addition to that, I’ve been involved in several music theatre productions and studied abroad, as well.

High school and class year: George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, Class of 2015

Leadership role in BCPS: President of BCSC, 2014-2015

Future plans: After I graduate, I plan on attending graduate school and pursuing a master’s degree in arts leadership. Eventually, I’d love to find a career working for a nonprofit that focuses on arts accessibility for at-risk and underprivileged youth.

How BCPS prepared me for the future: By allowing me to attend magnet middle and high schools, BCPS helped prepare me for a future in my craft. Studying subjects I loved every day with teachers who were highly skilled in those areas helped me find the joy in education. Essentially, BCPS made me love learning and pushed me to never stop asking the golden question “Why?”

This school system also gave me many diverse experiences. From culture festivals to world language nights, I was able to meet and learn about various people and traditions.

Deeksha Walia

Deeksha Walia

College and class year: University of Maryland, College Park, Class of 2020

Majors: Biological sciences (neurology and physiology) and public policy and law

Campus involvement: I’m involved in mock trial and the Student Government Association. I’m also a student ambassador of my school’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.

High school and class year: Kenwood High School, Class of 2016

Leadership role in BCPS: SMOB, 2015-2016

Future plans: I’m debating between medicine and law. I either want to become a surgeon or a lawyer. I’m interested in both fields, so I don’t know which path I’ll take. I’m majoring in both, and I’ll decide in the future which career I’ll pursue. Eventually, though, I do want to go into politics.

How BCPS prepared me for the future: Being in the International Baccalaureate program at Kenwood prepared me to be able to handle a large workload. I’m able to complete all of my projects and assignments, even when the time frame is small.

BCPS also taught me that I can persevere through challenges and push through without giving up. I can multitask and juggle multiple activities, all while doing them well because of the experiences I had during my senior year.

And I also matured a lot while I was SMOB, and that has helped me be successful in college. Without the experiences I’ve had in BCPS, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I have an open mind and an acceptance of diversity because of BCPS. I learned how to break through my shell and speak up for myself and my peers.

For Burton-Prateley, Maduka, McMichael, and Walia, the impact of their BCPS educations helped them succeed in college and determine their future careers. But, as Walia explains, the value has extended further than that, affecting them personally.

“I’m thankful and grateful for being a BCPS alumna,” she said. “I wouldn’t have gained these invaluable life skills anywhere else. I’m glad to be a part of the BCPS family, and I look forward to still being a part of Team BCPS in the future.”

To learn more about Team BCPS and your role in it, visit the campaign’s web page here.

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