the last 16 months, Scottsburg High School freshman Madelyn Shelton has
been giving back to the children of her community by volunteering in a
program through the Scott County Partnership.
“I was really
looking for a place where I could volunteer and do some good. I really
found that through Circles,” Shelton said. Circles is an initiative to
help break the cycle of generational poverty with the power of
developing positive relationships.
In the program where Shelton
volunteers, she works with children as the children’s parents, guardians
and other adults are taking classes on making positive choices, on
learning different methods for managing their children’s behavior, on
developing stronger connections within their families, and on acquiring
other life-enriching skills.
“I help with the child care. We eat
dinner together. The adults and kids split up for classes. We play games
and learn about trust, respect and responsibility,” Shelton said.
week, Shelton sees children from ages 5 to 15 — and sometimes younger —
and she tries to form a close relationship with each child through
friendship and through being reliable. For two hours, Shelton spends her
Thursday nights reinforcing that she is a constant person in their life
and someone the children can trust will be there.
me about myself. You learn your family is bigger than your relatives,”
Shelton said. “I think of them as my Circles kids. They really make my
day. I see their smiling faces — it turns my whole day around.”
Shelton, the need to give back and help others stems from her home
life. Her parents work in public service related fields — her mother
works at Scott County Partnership and her father is a deputy at the
Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
“Community service and volunteering
has been a part of my family,” Shelton said. “It’s a personal thing.
It’s what drives me every morning. My life isn’t about me. I’m so
Along with Shelton’s upbringing and outlook on life, she
is involved in several student organizations. She is the vice-president
of the SHS chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions, is a
member of the Science Olympiad, and is a Key Club member. She volunteers
additional hours in the community to complete her program requirements
as a Scottsburg New Tech High School student.
Amidst her volunteerism and involvement, Shelton makes sure she focuses on her studies.
love school. I really love to read,” Shelton said. “Discipline is
really key. You’ve got to sit there and do it. My dad always says your
school comes first.”
Before coming to Scottsburg in middle school,
Shelton attended two other neighboring schools. However, she said
coming to Scottsburg has been a good decision.
Scottsburg is the best decision I’ve ever made,” Shelton said about
learning at Scott County School District 2. “I love Scottsburg.”
takes those positive experiences at home, her love for school, and her
discipline to share with the children she sees each week at Circles.
“People need a little help, a little push,” Shelton said.
willingness to help her community is what will make a positive
difference where she lives and where she learns. At Scott County School
District 2, Shelton’s story is our story. Your story matters. You