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Tutor Spotlight on Mary-Kate

Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Mary-Kate. We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!

Tell us a bit about your backstory and what lead you down your current life path.

When I was fourteen I went on my first college tour and fell in love with Southern Methodist University. I immediately knew that it was my dream school. However, the tuition was way too high for my family, meaning I would have to secure a large scholarship. During the entirety of high school, I worked so hard studying for several hours every day so I could make this dream a reality. I would even write “SMU” at the top of my notes while studying to motivate myself and keep my eye on the prize. After four years of extremely hard work, I secured the awards necessary to be able to attend SMU. Now I get to attend my dream school studying psychology so I can fulfill my goal of making the world a better place.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career?

I am currently pursuing a career in psychology. This was inspired by my love of helping others. Throughout my adolescence, I explored several different career options. I knew that I wanted to make a difference but wasn’t sure exactly how to do that. Then my senior year I took an AP Psychology class and fell in love with the subject. I knew immediately that it was what I was looking for. I would definitely define myself as a people person and love learning about why people act the way they do and the best ways to help them. It is my primary goal in life to leave the world a significantly better place than when I got here and I know that psychology is the way to make a lasting impact.

What is one thing you are most proud of achieving in your life?

From preschool to eighth grade, I was homeschooled. But my family and I decided I would start high school at a local private school for 9th grade. Being a dancer my whole life, I wasn’t planning on joining any sports teams until the idea of being a cheerleader caught my eye. I had never cheered before but thought it would be fun. So I decided to go for it even though I only had three weeks to prepare before the tryouts. I spent those three weeks doing and thinking of nothing but cheer and prepared myself as much as possible. When I showed up at the tryouts, I didn’t know a single person there, and there were over 100 girls with only about 30 spots on the team. To my delight, I made the team and even ended up working my way up to become cheer captain later on. Despite how long ago it was I still am very proud of this accomplishment because I didn’t let fear win and decided to be bold. It showed me the importance of putting yourself out there, never letting worry get in the way of your goals, and the power of diligence.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I am so grateful for my mother. She homeschooled me from when I was in preschool until the end of eighth grade when I started attending a private school. Even from a very young age, I have been naturally ambitious and she always encouraged me to chase after my dreams. I was always such an overachiever and put a lot of pressure on myself to get perfect grades (especially in high school) and she was so encouraging and there for me every step of the way helping me reach the high standards I had for myself. I am now at my dream university on a large academic scholarship and I’m so grateful for all the support and advice she gave me to help me get here.

What do you enjoy most about teaching/tutoring?

Education is extremely important to me. My whole life I’ve always had a deep love and yearning for knowledge. The world is such an interesting place and there is always something new to be learned. This love of learning has led to a love for teaching. A teacher/tutor can make the world of a difference in how someone views learning. If done correctly, learning is a fun and exciting experience. I hope to help people fall in love with learning as I have, instead of viewing it as a boring chore. Also learning is the gateway to so many future dreams. I feel honored that as a tutor I have the privilege of helping other students chase their goals.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In addition to spending time with my friends and family, I love music! I’ve been classically trained in piano and there’s nothing I love more than sitting down and learning a new song. I play a lot of classical music but also love learning more modern songs and movie soundtracks. When I sit down at the piano I often lose track of time because it’s such a fun activity and helps me relieve stress. Not only do I love creating music, but I also love listening to it! I love pretty much every genre there is out there but I have a special love for all Taylor Swift’s songs.

Tell about an amazing trip you took. Where did you go and what did you enjoy most?

My favorite trip I’ve taken is definitely Disney World. I have been several times throughout my life, but the best time was when I went with my school friends during 11th grade. I love the excitement and the magic it provides. Disney World is not only a place of freedom and adventure but a place of nostalgia – somewhere that whisks you back to your childhood in the most special way. Experiencing that with my best friends was an amazing experience and I hope to do that again soon.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? What is it and why did it resonate with you?

I am an avid reader and have read countless books just in the past few years so this question was difficult. I would have to say the Harry Potter series. Ever since I first read it when I was nine I related so much to Hermione Granger, a studious, determined, and strong girl who was best friends with the protagonist. She beats all the odds and was always the top student in the school and I always thought of her as a role model. A way the book really impacted me was not only having her to look up to but also the idea that her studiousness and opinionated nature were a strength and an asset, something to never hide or tone down. 

Please share your favorite Life Lesson quote. How is it relevant to your life?

I love the Maya Angelou quote “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think this is a really important reminder that the way we treat the people around us is one of the most important aspects of who we are. Achievements and success are important, of course. But at the end of the day, kindness is worth ten times any prize. I try to live my life by this quote as much as possible.

Is there a person in the world with whom you would love to have a private lunch and why? He/she might just see this! 🙂 

I would love to meet Taylor Swift. I have been her biggest fan since I was four years old. Not only do I love her music (which is amazing), but I also admire her drive and her talent. I have always looked up to her as a sort of role model and I think it would be amazing to get to sit down and talk about life with her. For the past 16 years, she has been releasing music and still is, so her songs have grown up with me in a way. They have been a source of comfort in hard times and a source of happiness during the good times and everything in between.

Thanks, Mary-Kate! We Are So Lucky To Have You On The Team!

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Every other month, I share short emails full of hopeful stories, updates on your impact, and relevant news. Thousands of people enjoy them."
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