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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Falcon student aims high

As a senior at Falcon High School in Falcon School District 49, Maddie Binkley said she needed to earn money to help pay for college in the fall. She submitted several essays about overcoming adversity to the Anschutz Foundation, and was one of nine students in Colorado selected as a Horatio Alger scholar.ìMy family has struggled financially for a long time,î Binkley said. ìIím a very self-motivated, independent person. I want to be able to pay my way through college and get as little student loans as possible, and not ask my family for something like that.îBinkley said she will be attending the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where she has been placed in the honors program. Binkley will receive $500 per year if she maintains a 3.5 grade point average.ìI want to write,î Binkley said. ìIím not sure where I want to go with it yet. I donít want to do fiction, and journalism is very matter-of-fact and straight to the point. I think I might take a variety of different courses and see what Iím interested in and go from there.îBinkley said she would like to find a career path that allows her to write and maintain the online boutique she and a friend opened. ìItís called Indulgence Boutique, and I built the website about three months ago, but weíve been setting it (the boutique) up for a while,î she said.Through the boutique, Binkley sells clothing, jewelry and accessories she has purchased through a wholesale vendor, she said. ìMe and my best friend in Texas are in on it together,î Binkley said. ìWe have everyone that she is around in her community and then my friends as well, so weíre able to reach a lot more people. We use a lot of social media (to market the boutique) like Instagram and shopping apps.ìI hope to open a physical location after I graduate college because I want to keep my business going.îBinkley said both of her parents have owned a business, and she knows that success is possible. ìGiven your personality and how you go about things, you can be really successful with it,î she said.Her parents divorced when she was young, and she grew with the experience. ìIíve learned how to manage my time and my resources going back and forth between two very different families,î Binkley said. ìItís helped me grow in a lot of ways, but itís still been a struggle.îThat struggle was one of the topics Binkley wrote about for the Horatio Alger scholarship. ìYou create the situation you live in, and you can make your life something positive or you can make it something negative,î she said. ìBy really believing in yourself and by realizing that you have the potential and can be independent and achieve your goals, you donít have to ask anybody else to do it for you.ìI always strive for something better and I never settle for something lower than what I thought I could do. I think thatís helped me a lot.î

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