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Perry High School senior finding happiness in helping others in need

Madilyn on her 17th birthday with the donations she gathered for a domestic violence shelter. (Courtesy of Scott family)

For Perry High School senior Madilyn Scott, giving back is a regular occurrence.

You could say it just comes natural.

Scott got her first taste of helping others in junior high. Helping those with disabilities through a program called Panther Pals, Scott hit the ground running, looking for other opportunities to help out her community.

“I’ve always liked helping people out. It probably started in junior high when I started with Panther Pals,” Scott said. “I loved it, those kids were amazing and there’s so much light from them. I loved working with them. So I was like, ‘I want to help more people out. I love this feeling. It makes me feel so good.'”

Not only does she help incoming freshmen get their bearings through Link Crew, Scott has organized beach cleanups and has volunteered at Paz de Cristo where she helps prepare meals and hand out food to the homeless.

She took it a step further on her 17th birthday, however.

Instead of giving a list of things she wanted for her birthday, like most her age would, Scott instead asked those around her to donate to a local women and children’s shelter.

“Do I really need all these gifts for my birthday?” Scott said. “There’s nothing that I really need. There’s things I want but nothing I really need.

“I texted my parents in a group chat and said I don’t want gifts for my birthday. I want to donate to other people, I want to help other people out.”

Scott and her family quickly went to work, posting on Instagram her idea.

The result? Around $800 in donations and necessities that the shelter desperately needed.

“It really makes me feel good, and this year especially, I noticed how grateful I should be for everything I have,” Scott said. “I’m so blessed to have a home, have food, have water, clothes. Not a lot of people have that and not a lot of people are blessed with a supportive family like I have also.”

Aside from helping those in need, Scott acts a role model for her four sisters and brother.

She hopes her charitable actions rub off on her siblings.

“I just want to show them that they should all be grateful for what we have. I know everyone has hard times,” Scott said. “We’re just super blessed for what we have and even kids we go to school don’t have as much as we do and I just want them to realize that we should all be really grateful. Hopefully they’ll do work like that too and donate to people, help out and volunteer.”

After graduation, Scott plans to continue giving back by majoring in marine biology with an emphasis in shark conservation and protection.

And for those contemplating jumping in and helping others, Scott says go for it.

“I’d say just do it. If it sits right with your heart and you want to do good and you have the right idea of going about it just do it,” Scott said. “Nothing bad can come out of helping other people.”


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