May 2, 2017

Kids at Heart


Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” — Michael Scott

Mara Stern ’17 is a Political Science major and a Philosophy minor from Austin, Texas, who has her mind and heart set on sticking up for kids.

As an intern for the Children’s Defense Fund, she’s found the intersection of passion and study in activism and policy. And at Guilford, she’s also found out what it’s like to experience seasons.

“Growing up in Austin, I never got the chance to see a real fall season,” she says. “I remember my first year at Guilford — I was so in awe of the beauty of the campus in the fall.”

Mara, who’s also a tennis player and Bonner Center intern, knows the importance of passion and principles — two things Guilford is committed to cultivating in its students. According to Mara, that dedication to student success was evident in some of her earliest encounters with members of the Guilford community.

“One of the first people that I met at Guilford was Andy Strickler, who was the Dean of Admissions at the time. He was, and still is, a wonderful mentor and friend to me,” she says. “Having someone like him helped make the transition to college so much easier. That is something that is so special about Guilford. There are so many members of the faculty and staff that care so much about students.”

Mara will continue to pursue the passions she founded at Guilford after she graduates. She’ll transition from intern to Ella Baker Trainer with the “organization [she’s] always loved” — the Children’s Defense Fund.