Meeting new students from the Class of 2025
Each year, the Office of Admission runs features on incoming Scotties and their stories on social media in the weeks leading up to move-in day. Missed a story? Here’s all of the Class of 2025 Certified Scotties and their stories:
Kennedi Malone ’25 (she/her) from Peachtree City, GA
Have you ever been inspired to take action because of a piece of art? You’re in good company with Kennedi, who walked away from viewing/reading Faith Ringgold’s narrative patchwork quilt “Dancing at the Louvre” and let it ignite a powerful change in her perspective on her identity, heritage and goals.
Kennedi founded @StayConsciousMedia, a social justice education platform that centers the experiences of marginalized communities, first as a social media platform and then as a club at her school. With Stay Conscious, Kennedi has helped lead a voter registration drive for Georgia’s run-off senate election and implement a mural commemorating Black History Month. She and a few friends even hosted a round-table discussion between candidates for local representative during the election.
All of Kennedi’s advocacy work focuses on her passion for advocacy and centering empathy. That leads right into her career goals of pursuing activism in the public health field by ensuring that healthcare programs are both equitable and culturally sensitive. At Agnes Scott, she plans to study Public Health, Anthropology/Sociology and maybe even Art History.
About her choice to attend Agnes Scott, Kennedi says “I was interested in the liberal arts approach to public health, as well as the social justice-oriented curriculum. I realized there was a support system in literally every department, a group of faculty members willing to help in any way possible. To top it off, I fell in love with the reality of learning alongside strong, articulate, and passionate womxn.”
We know we’re excited to have Kennedi bring her voice and her empathy to our classrooms and our campus this fall.
Oona Varga ’25 (she/her) from Saint Louis, MO
When Oona’s friends describe her, they talk about someone who is bubbly, funny, and creative. They talk about someone who is passionate about mental health and loves sharing new musical tastes. What they don’t often talk about is the mountain she had to overcome to get to be someone who regularly takes long walks and longboards across Saint Louis.
Oona was born with scoliosis, and she had to wear a back brace from ages 6-12. After undergoing surgery, she had to learn how to walk all over again, describing it as “the most intense thing that I’ve ever had to overcome.”
But overcome she did, and everyday she strives to continue to grow. During high school, Oona took the time to learn how to have conversations with those who disagree with her, especially about politics. She calls it “a bridge from my sheltered, narrow-mindedness to being more open, and thus better prepared to embrace the varied intellectual challenges that Agnes Scott will offer.”
Oona knows a lot about what Agnes Scott will offer- she applied Early Decision to become a Scottie. On why she chose ASC, she says: “I want to further my education in a school that values diversity and feels like a home away from home. Agnes Scott rose to the top for those reasons, as well as for being a place that strives to empower women to become strong leaders.” After ASC, she’s interested in becoming a therapist and starting her own business, but knows that she may still change her mind.
We’re excited to welcome Oona to the Scottie family!
Aom Juneau ’25 (she/her) from Austin, TX
Aom (or Wanvimol Juneau, if we’re being formal) ‘25 (she/her) is currently from Austin, TX, but that’s just part of her story!
Aom was born in Thailand and thus considers herself Thai. However, she’s a true citizen of the world; Aom has lived in multiple places in Thailand, Singapore, and then California, and then lived in Houston, TX and Seattle, WA before moving to Austin, TX. Because of all of her travels, Agnes Scott will actually be her eighth school!
Because of her experiences living in so many places, Aom was heartbroken to realize that after focusing on learning English, her grasp on Thai was starting to slip. She was disheartened, but quickly realized that there are two ways to approach a language barrier: “remain apathetic” or “grab the sledgehammer.” Aom grabbed the sledgehammer and conquered the language barrier.
Aom didn’t remain content with just two languages, however. She also focused on self-teaching Surin Khmer, the Thai-Cambodian dialect her mother spoke. She started learning American Sign Language in school. And, as a part of the after school program OneWorld! Now, she learned Korean and took leadership workshops to talk about how to navigate the world through unique lenses- talk about a global citizen!
At Agnes Scott, Aom wants to study biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. Her dream job is to one day work in a lab conducting biological research, and Agnes Scott’s focus on STEM and the liberal arts is one of the factors that lead her to apply.
When asked what she’s looking forward to most, Aom says “I’m excited about the close-knit community Agnes Scott has, and I can’t wait to get into my classes and have professors that will truly care about me and other students.”
We’re so excited to welcome this global citizen and scientist to our campus.
Reese Mendenhall ’25 (she/her) from Atlanta, GA
Tea time, anyone? Around the start of high school, Reese developed an interest in tea- not so much the beverage, but the rituals and traditions associated with tea around the world. According to her, “teatime globally is a means of taking a break from the day and spending time with loved ones and friends.”
Around the same time, Reese started to notice her classmates and friends beginning to rely on one little phrase: “I’m stressed out.” Being stressed and overwhelmed is unfortunately common for high school students, and while Reese also felt it, she wanted to find a way to help reduce everyone’s stress. And that’s how the Tea Club was started!
Reese’s Tea Club started as a social club open to anyone who wanted to join at her school. Reese would make a pot of tea, and students who usually wouldn’t spend time together would come together to talk and destress. The group started out small, but it quickly grew, and soon they started to take up multiple tables and multiple pots of tea. Because of her work as a community builder, Reese was granted her high school’s Citizenship Awarded, as voted on by the members of her class.
That feeling of community is the same thing that drew Reese to Agnes Scott. According to her, “ASC has such a warm, welcoming community filled with people of many different backgrounds. Agnes Scott is the kind of the school that cares about the success of its students, and that’s the kind of school for me.”
While at Agnes Scott, Reese hopes to study psychology and eventually become a psychologist, while also continuing her love of painting, particularly watercolor and oil painting.
We’re excited to welcome this community-builder to our campus.
Dax Vandevoorde ’25 from Belle Mead, NJ
When Dax showed up for the introduction meeting of Team 1403 Cougar Robotics, she noticed that she was the only Hispanic girl in the room. That wasn’t the only hurdle in her robotics career; she faced insults from her own team members, studied for a chemistry exam at midnight using her phone’s flashlight, and even had to figure out how to do robotics during a pandemic.
But at the end, she was the team captain, leading over 100 students in nine different categories, even taking her chairman’s team to compete at the World Championships. Dax is not just a robotics expert and a leader, however; she’s also a mentor. She ran a recruitment event targeted at female students, resulting in a freshman robotics class that for the first time was relatively equal among genders.
Dax has also taken her interest in robotics and other STEM fields for a test run. She’s been a social media manager for a Global Technology Leadership Summit; did research on local soil bacteria strains to test them for antibiotic properties, and conducted research on neurofuzzy inference systems (artificial intelligence that tries to handle partial truth through mathematical representation/set theory).
With all these experiences, it probably makes sense that Dax hasn’t decided exactly which field to go into, looking at everything from Biochemistry to Artificial Intelligence to Pre-Medicine. The most important thing, however, is how she wants to move forward: “As long as I’m learning things, building stuff, and helping people, I’m happy!”
Dax’s final decision to attend Agnes Scott rested on her interactions within female spaces within science and engineering and her ability to see the good in those spaces at Agnes Scott. Look forward to the future, because Dax has big goals. “When it comes to medical research, the data we use often doesn’t represent the most vulnerable people in our communities. I aim to create more inclusive computer models for complex medical processes, with the intent of improving the quality of healthcare and the accessibility of cutting-edge therapies.”
Inaara Vadsaria ’25 from Atlanta, GA
“Never treat service as a burden; but rather, treat it as a blessing.” These were the words of Inaara’s beloved grandmother that set her on a path of service throughout her life. Whether it’s helping that same grandmother with her daily activities, overseeing volunteers and assisting elders at her mosque, or volunteering at the Sunrise Senior Living Center, Inaara puts into practice those words daily.
Inaara loves to serve, particularly with the elderly, whose stories and wisdom she learns from daily. She loves that she gets to engage with those that are different from her. “When I engage with others, I keep an open-minded perspective and understand that everyone comes from different backgrounds and places. Just like art, everyone has their own charm and personality which we should cherish and respect.” volunteers and assisting elders at her mosque, or volunteering at the Sunrise Senior Living Center, Inaara puts into practice those words daily.
Speaking of art, it’s another one of Inaara’s passions, with work in everything from 3D and 2D art pieces to painting, drawing, and collaging. It’s why at Agnes Scott she wants to study both biology and studio art, merging two of her passions together.
Inaara was drawn to Agnes Scott because of “the small, comforting environment that is perfect for its diverse students. After visiting the campus a few times with my sister, I felt welcomed by new people every time.”
As the next class of students are starting up their college applications, Inaara has advice for them: “Take a moment to reflect and ask yourself what you are looking for in a college, whether that be academic or the atmosphere. It is easy to fall into pressure to apply to a specific college or university, but it is more important to know where you stand individually.”
We’re so excited that this leader of service has found her place on our campus.