Whenever Meghan Figueras started to struggle, her mom scheduled a college tour. In all, Figueras visited 22 colleges.
This is how she ended up at the University of Notre Dame. Figueras, who graduated as the valedictorian of Broadneck High School’s class of 2019, always thought she wanted to go to a city school. While visiting schools in Chicago, her father persuaded her to visit Notre Dame.
“I went, and I fell in love with it,” Figueras said. “We went to the Grotto [of Our Lady of Lourdes], which is a prayer space there, and it was just like a feeling, and I knew I wanted to be there.”
Faith is important to Figueras, so the school’s being a Catholic university helped her decision. While at Broadneck, Figueras taught a religious education class at St. Andrew by the Bay.
“I really love working with kids, and it was really impactful for me to see them growing in their faith,” Figueras said. “When I was teaching the younger kids, it really took me back to the foundations of my faith and the foundation of who I am, so that really solidified my character and who I want to be as a person.”
Figueras also volunteered at Anne Arundel Medical Center, where she helped check patients into the labor and delivery unit, directed families to the right room and served as a helping hand. As president of Broadneck’s National Honor Society and treasurer of the Interact Club, Figueras frequently participated in community service. She was also on the school’s unified bocce team, which is a group composed of special needs students and their peers.
“That was probably my favorite extracurricular that I did. The kids got so excited and treated every game like it was the Olympics,” Figueras said. “All of the special needs kids were so happy all the time, and it’s just a reminder not to take whatever’s going on in your life so seriously and to enjoy yourself and be happy.”
In the fall, Figueras plans to major in biochemistry on the pre-med track at Notre Dame. She also wants to earn a minor in Spanish. Looking toward the future, Figueras wants to be a neonatologist and work with babies in the newborn intensive care unit.
“After my volunteering at the hospital, I think that it’s a good fit,” Figueras said. “They were so able to see the impact that they were making in people’s lives every day. I think that is really special.”
Figueras thanks the teachers at Broadneck for providing a support group, especially her calculus teacher, Brianna Bostic.
“So many of the teachers there are so great and actually care about you as a person instead of just you doing well in their class or passing their class,” Figueras said. “That support group was really helpful.”