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The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

Editor-in-Chief Madysen Hawley rocks Buena with full ride scholarship

Sierra Engel
Madysen Hawley edits the school newspaper Buena Speaks while overseeing the print paper.

December 1st, 2023, Madysen Hawley anxiously opens the portal of her Questbridge scholarship application in her Calculus class, her heart beating out of her chest as she awaits what could be life-changing information. Her friends, cameras ready, click record to potentially capture a momentous moment. As her hands jump to her mouth in delight, it is clear to those surrounding her that all her hard work has paid off. Hawley had gotten a full-ride scholarship into Williams College.

As an Editor-In-Chief for Buena Speaks and a stellar AP student, this was one accomplishment to top many of Hawley’s academic feats. However, her journey did not begin with the acceptance letter. 

Hawley’s scholastic journalism journey began with pure chance. When she first saw the class on her schedule sophomore year, she thought nothing of the class and had originally not even requested it. However, in her three years of taking journalism, she has made lifelong friends and her writing skills blossomed as she found a new love. 

“I believe there is a lot of community to be found in a group of people who need each other to reach a common goal,” Hawley said. “I think journalism brings people out of their shell.”

Hawley has long since broken out of her shell, and surrounds herself with many friends inside and out of journalism. Skyler Nerida has known Hawley since their sophomore year, and the two have grown closer over their three years of being friends.

“She is fun, she is smart, and she encourages me to be better academically,” Nerida said. “I am just super proud of her for all she has accomplished. She has gone through a lot and has persevered, and deserves all the accomplishments that she has earned.”

Hawley’s full ride to the top liberal arts school did not emerge out of nowhere. The application program, Questbridge, was a “grueling process,” requiring detailed financial information from the applicant and many long and personal essays. After making it past the first round and becoming a ‘finalist,’ Hawley applied to over 15 colleges and universities that each required their supplemental essays.

“It was mainly the writing process that was difficult,” Hawley said. “I holed up in the library every day for all of fall break.”

In the end, however, this hard work and dedication was not for nothing. Questbridge is designated to help and support “low-income and underprivileged” students with goals to attend college that were previously unrealized. Madysen was a diamond in the rough amongst these candidates and eventually was selected by Williams College to earn her well-deserved full-ride scholarship.

She has the ability to do whatever she wants. I am extremely proud of her and I know she is going to continue killing it [at Williams] too.

— Molly Ensminger

“I really value kind people and kind places… I feel that Williams brings this energy,” Hawley said. “The environment is perfect and the classes are so small and tight-knit and it was very, very ideal for me.”

Hawley will leave behind many good friends and family as she branches off from high school and enters college. Molly Ensminger, who taught Hawley her sophomore and junior year, believes she is well prepared for her bright future in Massachusetts.

“She completely and totally deserves it. She has the ability to do whatever she wants,” Ensminger said. “I am extremely proud of her and I know she is going to continue killing it over there too.”

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  • T

    Terry CobeyJun 7, 2024 at 8:45 am

    I’m so proud of you.your future is going to be and Teah wish you all the best.

  • J

    Jennifer HawleyJun 6, 2024 at 11:22 pm

    I am Beyond proud of you Madysen. I hate to see you go so far away, bit I can’t wait to see the things you’re accomplish. I’ve watched you work so hard over the years. Nothing could make me more proud. You are such an amzing young woman with so much potential. The sky’s the limit!! I love you to the moon and back. XoX mom

  • B

    Bobby HawleyJun 6, 2024 at 9:48 pm

    I am so very proud of you.
    Hard work, and constant attention for that long . I hope that you are proud of yourself and realize how much you have accomplished. All I know is. You are awesome.
    I love you and pray you are only happy and safe.
    Love you very much.