May 26, 2017
Margaret VanSchaik has always been driven.
“Success was never not an option for me. Growing up, our
parents were so chill but education was very important,” said the 2017
salutatorian at Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities.
It’s a title (and honor) that Margaret has been working
toward since ninth-grade. Becoming valedictorian or salutatorian of her senior
class was something she knew was in her reach because of her work ethic and the
school’s small size.
“I go to a small school, so it wasn’t unrealistic to me,”
said the 18-year-old. “So I thought that it was definitely something that I
should think about and try to achieve and work toward.”
In the fall, she’ll be working toward a degree in
International Studies as a student at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her
ultimate goal is to become a Foreign Service Officer (a diplomat). But because
there are so many different degree tracks within IU’s School of Global and
International Studies, which Margaret was directly admitted into, she plans to
use her freshman year to explore all options.
“I really want to go in-depth with each (track) and see
which one really clicks with me, but right now I’m thinking diplomacy, security
and government,” said Margaret, who is just as interested in sports as she is
At Broad Ripple, Margaret was on the swim team for two
years; she has also been on the school’s volleyball and softball teams since
her sophomore year.
She believes IU is the perfect choice because it’s a Big Ten
school and because of the opportunities it provides. “The program that I’m
going into is going to be awesome for me. I really love it already. I think
it’s a good fit, and it makes so much sense financially.”
Margaret will attend IU, tuition free. But her school choice
is in the opposite direction of where her two older brothers (both Arsenal Tech
grads) decided to attend college: Purdue. Margaret, however, is completely fine
charting her own course.
“My brothers, who aren’t big into sports, don’t care where I
go. But my dad, who has lots of Purdue paraphernalia, jokes that he’s going to
get a house divided flag for football season.”
While Margaret was completely focused on the No. 1 and 2
spot in high school, she said that won’t necessarily be her focus in college.
“Realistically, I’m not trying to be valedictorian or
salutatorian in college because IU is such a big school. I’m just going to try
to get the highest GPA that I can. I really just need to focus on myself,” said
Margaret, who plans to head to Washington, D.C., after college graduation.