“Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.” - Horace Miner
Hello! My name is Annie (Annabelle) Manges! I am from Charlotte, North Carolina, where I attended East Mecklenburg High School and was enrolled in the IB program. My major here at App is Global Studies, with a double-minor in French and Non-Profit Studies.
In high school, I became very connected with the world of community and service through the organization Catholic Charities, which is a major refugee resettlement agency that is based in Charlotte. A family friend got me interested in the political background of the refugee crisis, and I began to wonder what it is like for refugee teens in America to try to settle in to an entirely new country at such a critical point in their life. My own school, East Meck, is known for its outstanding diversity, both racially and economically, so I was already exposed to a large ESL department where many refugee student were enrolled. I founded a club called Common Ground that focused largely on mentoring and tutoring as well as hosting supply drives and advocating at our school for Charlottian refugees. This club completely altered how I view our country and our globe, shaping the way I have lived for the last couple of years.
Outside of schoolwork and Common Ground, I have many interests that I pursue! I love to read, especially books about the American Civil Rights movement. My favorite book to date is ‘Just Mercy’ by Bryan Stevenson. I love to read because it can cause you to be so enveloped in a story where you are forced to think about situations and form opinions that are difficult to come by otherwise. I am also an avid art fan; even though I am not a great artist, I try my best and have fun doing it! When studying the works of talented artists such as Frida Kahlo and Shirin Neshat, I get excited to understand an artists’ thought process when creating their pieces and I am always amazed by the fact that we, as viewers, can never really know the true intended meaning behind many pieces of art.
When I am not trying to expand my mental horizons, I am outside or in the gym! I absolutely love the outdoors (as do most Mountaineers!) and I am beyond thrilled to be able to walk outside of my dorm and embark on some exciting hikes! I also enjoy mountain biking at a very amateur level, running, and crossfit. Working out is a therapeutic experience for me that makes me feel strong enough to handle whatever life throws at me!
As part of my next several years at Appalachian, I hope to be able to travel as much as possible. I have been incredibly fortunate enough to have already travelled to South Africa to study abroad, as well as to Costa Rica for a service trip. Travelling, while it sounds cliche, is one of the most important things you can do to push yourself to grow. My times abroad have forced me to question what it means to be an American in a foreign country; travel has caused me to think long and hard about harsh truths such as the white savior complex and American privilege.
The Wilson Scholars Program is an incredible blessing that will help me and prepare me to tackle my goals! I cannot wait to embark on the next four years of my life and it truly would not be possible without donors, Brad and Carole Wilson, as well as the family and friends in my life. I look forward to the amazing journey ahead of me.