Name: Tawni D.

Hometown: Ebensburg, PA

Anticipated Major(s): Molecular & Cellular Biology

Anticipated Minor(s): Bioethics

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply? My dad loves the school! I will be a first generation college student so my dad wanted me to go to the best school I could get into. I have been set on going on a premed track since I was in second grade when I was diagnosed with type one diabetes so going to a good premed school was my top priority. I also planned on going into diabetes research and I know that I can do that at Hopkins. When I was making my final decision, I felt a connection to the Hopkins community. Everyone seems so passionate and friendly. I cannot wait to meet everyone in the fall!

Is there a quote or motto that inspires you? What is it and what does it mean to you? “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”—Walt Disney. I have this quote saved on my phone’s homescreen. Sometimes, I talk about everything I want to do, but I do not take action to start because I am afraid of the outcome. I use this quote to push me to just do it and stop worrying about the worst that could happen. This quote particularly speaks to me because I was a Disney Dreamer in 2020 so I love that this quote is by Walt Disney himself.

What are you most excited to do in Baltimore? Explore! Coming from a very small town with a population of 200, I cannot wait to live in a town like Baltimore with more to do. I definitely want to find some good thrift shops around the area and some fun instagram photo locations!

How has your family background or life experiences shaped you? No one in my family went to college, so the pressure for me to be successful was intense. My biggest competitor though, has been myself. I am not challenged at my school so I am really competing with myself, trying to be better every time. This has caused me to have so much pressure on myself to be better that I get overwhelmed. Over the past few months, during the college application process, I found myself and started to learn to manage everything, rather than getting burnt out. I am in a very good part of my life right now, but I would not have gotten here without the pressure I put on myself to be the best me that I can be.

What’s your best piece of college search advice for high school students? Do not focus on just prestige. Look into the community and how you would fit into that school. Just because one person thrives at a school, does not mean it is the best for you.

What book, album/song, or TV show has had a profound influence on your life? Harry Potter seems like a very common favorite book series, but it truly did influence my life. It was the series that got me into loving to read and write.

What fictional character do you most relate to or most closely represents you as a person? Hermione Granger and young Rory Gilmore.

What are you most excited for about college and/or coming to Hopkins? I am most excited to meet more people. I am so sheltered here in my small town that meeting people from all different backgrounds will be a new experience.

What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of? (big or small!) I founded the Health and Wellness Club in my high school during my sophomore year. We immediately grew to over 10 members. I love to be in a leadership position so organizing everything is so much fun to me. We raised over $700 for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I also helped open the free clothing store we have for students called the BV Boutique. All the clothing is donated to us and we wash, hang, and advertise! Before COVID, we also hosted an outside day for the elementary school students.

Complete this sentence: “I would not be here on this journey to Hopkins if it weren’t for _________________________.” My supportive family.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (dream big!) In 10 years, I hope to have a group of friends that will be with me for the rest of my life. I will be finishing up my Ph.D and be partly through medical school. I will be on the path to accomplishing my goals.