Graduating with Service - The City Mission of Cleveland, Ohio

When Maddie’s family asked her what she wanted to do for her high school graduation party, she found she wasn’t ready to give the typical answer. The Independence High School Senior had been attending the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Teaching Profession Program, and realized that she was in a good position to give back rather than get.

Instead of sending out invites to a cookout, Maddie invited her family and friends to help her reach a goal of filling 100 school supply boxes for children at Laura’s Home. She has a passion for empowering mother’s who have experienced domestic violence.

“My only thought was to hope that requesting items such as markers, colored pencils, and glue sticks, in leu of a Commencement Celebration, could be a blessing for the mothers and children of domestic violence. Although I was truly grateful to be offered a traditional graduation party, under my current circumstances, I didn’t feel it was necessary,” Maddie explained.

Throughout her high school career, Maddie became an avid volunteer and found that service to others provided her great comfort, enjoyment and confidence.

I know exactly where I have spent the best times of my life so far – volunteering. The more I help, the better I feel. It’s a win-win situation and it’s also the way I become the happiest.”

Service to the community won’t end in June for Maddie. She’ll be returning to Laura’s Home in August for the Back to School Bash, and hopes to inspire other high school seniors to make collecting school supplies an annual graduation tradition.

Maddie is attending Kent State University in the fall to begin her Masters in Early Childhood Education. She also plans to continue collecting school supplies for Laura’s Home through an organization she joins at KSU.

Thank you, Maddie, for using what’s in front of you to inspire others and give back to your neighbors!

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