Madeleine Tarin re-created her mom's graduation photo at her high school ceremony
Robert Leitner ’17

Incoming freshman Madeleine Tarin from Chino Hills High School in California re-created a sentimental family photo from her childhood resulting in a viral response of over 77,000 retweets, 330,000 likes and a stream of emotional replies and national press.

The original photo was taken at her mother’s high school graduation in June 2000. At the time, Tarin was almost 2 years old. Tarin has kept the photo framed in her room for years, and at the start of her senior year, she had the idea of re-creating the photo at her own high school graduation.

After Tarin walked across the stage at Citizens Business Bank Arena and received her high school diploma in June 2017, she was ready to re-create the photo that served as inspiration throughout her educational career.

“I saw (the re-created photo) as a symbol of accomplishment for my parents and I believe it was a real eye-opener for them to see how much we’ve overcome as a family together,” says Tarin.

Tarin was born to two teenage parents who, with the help of their loving and supportive parents, were able to instill values, work ethic and passion into Tarin as a child. Citing her parents’ hard work as her motivation, Tarin recalls her parents telling her, “I want you to do better."

“Although their lives changed after having me, my mom was able to attend regular high school," Tarin says. "My parents still went to dances and were able to live their teenage lives, but they both agreed they would beat the statistics and mold me into something great.”

Following her mother’s athletic footsteps, Tarin started to play soccer when she was 4 years old. She fell in love with the sport at a young age and knew she wanted to play at the collegiate level in the future. A four-year varsity starter with Chino High School, Tarin plays midfielder and has committed to play Division 1 soccer with Rider on an academic and athletic scholarship.

“Maddy is a dynamic midfielder with excellent movement, great technical ability and good balance,” says Rider Women’s Soccer Head Coach Drayson Hounsome. “Her ability to maintain possession and create passing opportunities in tight spaces suits our style of play very well”

Tarin’s parents received much of the credit for her motivation and she attributes their hard work to her relentless mentality when working toward her goals.

“My goal was to not only play for myself to get a scholarship, but I played for my parents as well,” Tarin says. “I wanted to make them proud by being a student-athlete. Coach Hounsome gave me that opportunity to make myself and my parents feel accomplished. I’m forever grateful.”

Tarin will study health sciences at Rider with intentions to become an occupational therapist. Although missing her parents and younger sisters during the academic year is inevitable, Tarin is ready for this experience to characterize her as an independent young lady. She also has family in New Jersey and New York that she looks forward to meeting for the first time.

“I’m very excited to come to Rider,” Tarin says. “The diversity and amenities Rider has to offer, along with the academics and sports, are exactly what I was looking for in a college. I’m looking forward to meeting people from all over the world and country. I’m most excited to start my freshman season with my new team as well as excelling in my academic career at Rider!”