Former St. Louis woman who spent time in foster care named Rhodes Scholar | Joe’s St. Louis

A former St. Louisan — who bounced between foster homes and often slept on couches at the homes of friends — has been named a 2021 Rhodes Scholar.

Mackenzie Fierceton, 23, a 2016 graduate of the Whitfield School in Creve Coeur, is one of just 32 U.S. college students awarded a four-year scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England.



Mackenzie Fierceton

Mackenzie Fierceton, Rhodes Scholar. (Photo by Jane Dmochowski)


Fierceton earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2018 from the University of Pennsylvania. She now is a graduate student at Penn and should earn a master’s degree in social work in 2021.

Fierceton said her foster homes were in several STL municipalities, including Manchester, Clayton and Creve Coeur.

Though she has not returned to St. Louis often, she has made several trips to visit a sister and the foster family from her senior year.

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“I miss the sense of care and community, the endless pride for the Cardinals and all things St. Louis — and of course, Ted Drewes,” she said.

“I will always be a Cardinals fan,” she said, then conceded, “But I am, however, a Flyers and Eagles fan.”

She also heaped praise on the teachers she had at Whitfield. “I can never express the tremendous gratitude I hold for all of the Whitfield faculty and staff,” she said.

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