CHARACTER COUNTS

Ironwood golfer finds time to volunteer with demanding studying workload

Jan 8, 2018, 7:02 PM
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PHOENIX — For high school students, extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports can take up a fair amount of spare time.

Ironwood High School senior Madisyn Clark defies the norm when it comes to the notion that high school studies can’t juggle too busy of a schedule.

While working hard to improve as a golfer on the varsity team, Clark is involved in a demanding class workload compared to a prototypical high school student while also finding time to work with special needs students.

Clark is involved in the International Baccalaureate Program, one of the most challenging academic programs available to high school students.

While she is part-time, Clark has six of the seven classes in the program and excels with a 4.87 weighted GPA.

The program is offered all around the world, with some classes taking as long as two years to complete. Classes are graded on a test taken at the end of the course and are judged based on the scores compared to students across the world.

“It’s very rigorous in the sense that they give you a lot of work,” Clark said. “It takes a lot of time, but in the end it’s really rewarding to do well in something that’s supposed to make us more world-conscious.”

It also helps students prepare better for the jump from high school to college. Past students have claimed the program makes college seem easy, a heavy endorsement for something that takes up so much time.

Beyond her schooling, Clark has spent time volunteering with Unified Sports, which works with special needs students involving athletics.

Clark heard from a friend about the class at Ironwood that’s offered once a semester, and once she had her spot, it was a perfect match.

“They’re truly amazing,” Clark said of working with the students. “Brings smiles to my face every day.”

She loved it so much she’s done it three semesters straight.

Clark has been on the varsity golf team the past two years, and while she admits she’s not the best, she’s been improving throughout her time and had more opportunities to contribute to the team.

So, she has her strict regimen of academics, the varsity golf team and working with Unified Sports all while volunteering for over 170 hours, but that’s a number that Clark admits continues to climb every week.

Clark is planning on pursuing a degree in special needs education.

“I just really love to work with kids in any capacity I can,” she said. “I find it really important to give back because people have given back in my life and helped me so I want to help others.”

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