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Shay Downey

Shay Downey '22

High School: Adair High School 

Intended Major: Music and Philosophy  

Possible Career: Children's Advocacy Attorney

Words: Altruistic, Outgoing, Optimistic, Motivated, Resilient 

What impact do you want to have on the world?

In my life, and in the lives of many others there are a plethora of barriers that make it more challenging for people to succeed. I believe that by protecting the vulnerable in society, and by recognizing the humanity in each individual we can fight the injustices of the world. I want to make at least a small impact by advocating for voices that are not heard, or overlooked. Immigrant children are especially vulnerable and as such, they are in need of even more resources. I hope to not only serve as a resource for these communities, but also help rise awareness and rally others to the cause. 

Name a person you admire.

My mother Crista Downey. She was the most hardworking and caring person I have ever met. It was impossible to be anything but happy when you were around her.  

What is something you are proud of in your life so far?

 As a daughter of two parents without a college education, and one without a high school diploma, I am very proud and abundantly blessed to be attending Swarthmore College. I never thought that college outside of Oklahoma was even possible, but thanks to the wonderful resources and people at Swat, I have had incredible opportunities.

What have been the most valuable Evans Scholars program experiences for you?

My first year at Swarthmore I purchased a new trombone with my Evans funding. I have been playing the trombone since 5th grade, and it has been a huge part of developing my love for music. It led me to being the second person from my school to make the All-State Band. I love that I get to continue growing in my musicianship while playing in the Swarthmore Wind Ensemble all because of Evans.