2016 Winner of the Kaire & Heffernan, LLC Community Scholarship
The selection for a high school student this year, as the scholarship winner, was Madeline Mae Ix. Madeline attended Melbourne Central Catholic High School (MCC). She was an honor student with a 4.14 grade point average. She graduated from high school summa cum laude, at the top of her class. She was accepted by Florida State University, and plans to study business. The $1,000 scholarship will help her with tuition expenses.
Volunteer Efforts Rewarded
Madeline volunteers to help the National Voices for Equality, Education, and Enlightenment (NVEEE). As part of the scholarship, Kaire & Heffernan will donate $500 to NVEEE on Madeline’s behalf. Madeline already contributed over 500 hours of her volunteer efforts to help NVEEE. She was a youth leader at the Peace Ambassador Leadership Summit (PALS) that NVEEE sponsors.
The PALS program invites over 100 at-risk youth to an annual summit that has the goal to spread awareness about bullying prevention and teaches the importance of not being a passive bystander observing bullying by others. For the past two years, Madeline helped organize the annual PALS event.
The PALS program lasts for a week. It includes many team-building activities, which Madeline coordinated. There are motivational speakers who give lectures about the topics of bullying, discrimination, and inclusion. The most powerful messages from the PALS conference are for at-risk youth, who may suffer from bullying, to believe in themselves and not be a bystander to bullying.
Madeline Mae Ix’s Challenging Story
Madeline did not have an easy time as a younger student. She suffered from multiple learning disabilities, which meant she had to work much harder at studying than an average student would. Many might have given up when faced with such difficulties. This did not happen with Madeline.
Even though she faced bullying at school, she overcame the problem. She studied diligently and gained recognition as one of the top honor students in America. She also became a charismatic student leader, to the surprise of many who thought that having learning disabilities was an automatic disqualifier for student leadership positions.
Madeline learned from dealing with her own challenges. This gives her the unique position to be able to have compassion for other peers going through difficult times and be a living example of the way out of troubles. Madeline is a terrific young adult who feels the compelling need to help others and improve their surroundings.
Madeline is not just an intellect. She is a well-rounded, holistic person. At the MMC High School, Madeline played on the varsity sports teams. She was also in the Art Club and the Drama Club. She sang in the school chorus and played flute in the high school band.
Madeline said in the essay that won her the scholarship award, “the biggest shortcoming of all is the inability to see one’s own ability and focus on the positive.” Her academic achievements, volunteer efforts to empower other students, and dedication to community service are very positive traits.
We hope Madeline has tremendous success at Florida State University and continues to be an outstanding role model for all millennials.