Natalie Malpass: A desire to help
Natalie Malpass, a self-described science, math and theater geek, wants to be a cardiothoracic surgeon or cardiologist one day.
“My daddy had five bypasses when I was in kindergarten. If it wasn’t for those doctors, I would have grown up without a daddy,” said Malpass, 17. “I want to repay it.”
Malpass, of Hallsboro, is one of 20 incoming freshmen entering East Carolina University in August as EC Scholars – the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers.
Her father, who is doing fine now, has never had a heart attack but has had repeated blockages in his arteries. “It sparked a desire in me to understand it, to know what’s going on, and to be able to do something for somebody,” Malpass said.
Malpass has ranked first in her class at East Columbus High School since 9th grade, something she has worked hard to maintain. She is president of the senior Beta Club, secretary of the National Honor Society, and a member of the Science Club, band and drama. She was chosen Homecoming Queen in October. She played tennis all four years and is a fullback on the women’s soccer team, which advanced to the state playoffs. She also is president of the Hallsboro United Methodist Church youth group.
This summer, she will complete the 80 service hours needed to earn a Gold Award, the Girl Scouts’ highest achievement, for her community service project Operation Stop Hunger Pain. She fills gallon bags with non-perishable items and distributes them to elementary schools to give to students whose only meals come at school. She is working with three schools now, and hopes to make the project countywide and sustainable. “I’m pushing to make sure I can get it going and hope it continues when I’m not here,” she said. “My living room has been taken over by Pop-Tarts, ramen noodles and juice boxes.”
She is looking forward to attending ECU because of the educational and service learning opportunities, and the honor that comes with being an EC Scholar. “To be selected is really humbling. It demands a high level of success in the classroom, and outside as well, and I think I’m up for it,” Malpass said.
“You know how everybody says when you find the right school, you’ll feel it. When I visited, it clicked, I knew it,” she said. “The students I met, the professors I talked to, everybody accepted me. I could just imagine myself walking on campus. I really like the atmosphere.”
Malpass is the daughter of Amy and Eddie Malpass.
-- Crystal Baity