Most beautiful caretaker: Brooke Hadley '18

by Anna Staropoli | 11/9/16 1:42am


The communities we are involved in often help form our identities. Yet for Brooke Hadley ’18 a pre-existing identity led to her involvement in what she now classifies as her main Dartmouth community.

“My home base community is probably the Native community at Dartmouth,” Hadley said.

Originally from Oklahoma, Hadley lived in the Choctaw Nation, near Dallas. Her Choctaw roots transitioned from Oklahoma into her life at Dartmouth.

“Before I came here, I only really knew about or identified with being Choctaw,” said Hadley, who entered Dartmouth originally intending to minor in Native American studies. After taking classes in the department, however, Hadley discovered a genuine passion for the subject and is now a Native American Studies major.

“Learning about other tribes’ histories and how we all interact as a Native American body in the U.S. has been really interesting,” she said.

Previously an Ivy Native Council representative and a member of the NAD executive board, Hadley is actively involved with the Native American community beyond her studies.

Yet Hadley’s passion for the Native American community signifies only a small portion of what defines her. In addition to NAD, the Dartmouth Christian community, which Hadley participates in through X.ado and Christian Union and Sigma Delta sorority represent key aspects of Hadley’s Dartmouth experience.

“They all obviously provide friendships and support as we’re navigating Dartmouth,” she said. “But they all contribute to my personhood in different ways.”

In her role as a Sexual Assault Peer Advisor and beyond, Hadley demonstrates a clear recognition of the needs of others around her and takes an active role in making sure those needs are met. This initiative is at the root of her character.

“I like to be everyone’s mom,” Hadley said. “I would consider myself as a leader...I kind of just take charge of things to get them done.”

This nurturing leadership surfaces in her daily life. Last weekend, for example, Hadley attended the Ivy Native Council Summit. There, she drove the car and took on responsibilities for the students with her.

“I roll up [in the mini van], and I’m like, ‘Children, get in. It’s time to go,’” she recounted with a smile.

Accounting for those around her also brings individual fulfillment. This personal satisfaction offers her a main source of joy: She notes that surrounding herself with people she cares about and finding moments to laugh are the main ingredients for her own happiness.

For Hadley, beauty is a matter of confidence in what one does.

“The way I see beauty is in warmth and confidence, so not a sense of being better than anyone else,” she said. “Seeing that a woman loves herself and loves the people around her confidently is very beautiful to me.”