At Meredith, Delaney Rhodes, ʼ20, found the strength that will help carry her English skills across the world. After graduation, Delaney plans to take the knowledge and insights she has gained at Meredith to South Korea, where she will teach English.
During her time at Meredith, Delaney has been thoroughly involved around campus, both in academic clubs and Residence Life. After beginning as the secretary, Delaney quickly moved to the position of president of the Colton English Club, allowing her to work closely with faculty to plan events and connect students throughout the English department.
Working in Residence Life for the past three years, Delaney has had the chance to help students transition to their second home at Meredith. “I have been able to see my residents grow from unsure freshmen to strong and determined juniors,” Delaney said, “and that makes me so immensely proud.”
As is true of her residents, Meredith has certainly been Delaney’s second home. Because her mom is a Meredith alumna, Delaney already knew some of what to expect when she arrived on campus, but the relationships that she soon developed with her faculty and the opportunities that were offered to her fulfilled her wish to grow as much as possible. “I am so grateful for the wonderful faculty I have gotten to know during my four years at Meredith,” said Delaney. “The encouragement and advice from those close to me gives me determination and inspires my commitment to see an objective through.”
In addition to her campus involvement, community internships and Meredith’s study abroad program had a substantial impact on helping Delaney find her strengths. During her junior year she worked as a communications and marketing intern for the local nonprofit, International Focus, Inc. During this internship Delaney was able to interview visiting delegates from all over the world and see the value and impact of cross-cultural exchange firsthand. This experience helped her discover her desire to work for an organization that builds a global community.
In the summer of 2018, what was initially one of the biggest draws to Meredith for Delaney became a reality when she participated in Meredith’s study abroad program in both Italy and the United Kingdom. “One of the main reasons I chose to attend Meredith was because of their commitment to allowing interested students the chance to study abroad,” Delaney said. “My mind was reeling after our first meeting with the admissions counselor who had shared the beauty of the Sansepolcro palazzo with my parents and me, and I knew for sure that I wanted to experience it for myself.”
Studying abroad allowed Delaney to find a sense of community in fellow student and faculty travellers, as well as develop a sense of confidence in her independence. “I loved being able to live in another culture, even for a brief period of time, and hope to once again be able to find a home away from home across the ocean through teaching abroad following graduation.”
With all of these lessons learned and immeasurable strength gained from four years at Meredith, Delaney encourages current and future Meredith students to “ … say yes to as many opportunities as possible. Although trying something new can be intimidating, you may find a new family or home in the club you agree to join or the trip you decide to journey on,” she said. “Your time at Meredith will be up before you know it, so make the most of the wonderful opportunities Meredith has to offer!”
By Hannah Flood, ’20