I Am Who I Am: A Story of Success (Van Donkersgoed '12)

Sara Jacobson

In a Talon article, MA alum Van Donkersgoed '12 was quoted saying:

"Success is however you personally perceive it. For me, it’s not about any amount of money, it’s about the process behind [finding meaning]. I find meaning in making mistakes, learning, and finding how to be a better person.”

Donkersgoed has seen success - as a competitive swimmer participating in the 2012 Olympic Trials and in his position as an athlete representative for the US Swimming's Board of Directors.

HuffPo Publication

His most recent success is a published article in the Huffington Post, where he argues the merits of including young professionals in organizational leadership positions.

As his alma mater, we are proud of all of Donkersgoed's accomplishments, including his upcoming graduation from Northwestern University with a degree in Social Policy and Legal Studies.

I Am Who I Am

However, it's a quote from Donkersgoed as a kindergartner that we appreciate most:

Van's mother, Sue Donkersgoed explained, “He wore a [business] suit and his Geoffrey Beene silver buckle shoes to kindergarten every day. I remember asking him, ‘Do you really want to wear this?’ and he would just say, ‘I am who I am, and I just don’t care what people think.’”

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