Student-athlete, Madison Smith '18 was recently honored with the Waterbury Exchange Club Youth of the Year Award at the Thirteenth Annual Dr. Lawrence J. Shea Memorial Awards Banquet. This award is open to all students who attend a Waterbury school.
As part of the application process for this award, Madison wrote an essay centered on Strengthening America through Socially Responsible Communities. She read the essay at the Awards Banquet.
"I focused on the importance of service and how Holy Cross has given me so many opportunities to give back to others," said Madison. "I also refer to a quote by former President George H.W. Bush, where he talks about everyone being a ray of light. Everyone has their own light in their community, and one action can have a huge impact."
In her essay, Madison writes, "Service to others has always been important to my family. Holy Cross has provided me with a new outlook on what it means to serve the community...Service to others is not only about contributing to society, but it is also personally rewarding in knowing that I can change someone's day with a simple act. If more Americans felt this way, our country could be healed."
Madison is one of Holy Cross's strongest student-athletes and leaders. She is active in Student Government, National Honor Society, athletics and Holy Cross Student Theatre. Academically, she currently ranks fourth in her senior class. She won the Fairfield University Book Award for Academic Excellence and received Academic Excellence Awards in Spanish and Western Civilization. She has also achieved many athletic successes for Girls' Soccer, Girls' Outdoor Track and Field and Boys' Swimming and Diving. She is also very committed to community service and has volunteered her time for countless projects. She is active with Special Olympics and Crusade for a Cure.
She has also served in many leadership roles including Girls' Varsity Soccer Captain and Dance Competition Team Captain. She is also active on the Senior Committee, Student Government and the Athletic Council.
"Being chosen for Youth of the Year is a huge honor bestowed upon Madison," said Catherine Xeller, Director of Guidance. "She represented Holy Cross tremendously with her poise, professionalism and maturity at the event. Her essay was beautifully written and embodied so much of what it means to be a Crusader. She presented eloquently and captivated the audience with her story. Madison's devotion to her school and more importantly, service to others is impeccable."
Awards and scholarships are presented at The Dr. Lawrence J. Shea Awards Banquet to students and community leaders. The dinner is named in honor of Dr. Larry Shea, one of the founders of the Exchange Club of Waterbury, and its first president.
This fall, Madison will attend Endicott College as an accounting major.