Shipley School Student Honored as Young Hero
A ceremony held at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia honored 18 students ranging from second graders to high school graduates for their dedication to community service.
As each of the 18 kids and teenagers filed into the National Liberty Museum Thursday afternoon, one common thread popped up in each of their unique accomplishments that earned them the 2012 Young Heroes Award. Not one of them knew they were nominated for the annual award.
"The nominations have to be made by other people in their lives, such as teachers or family members," said Kevin Orangers, vice president of programs at the National Liberty Museum. "These are the kind of people that don't seek out recognition for their service and would never nominate themselves. That's what makes them even more special."
The program, which started at the same time the museum opened in 2000, is open to students all around the world, with nominations in the past coming from California and even India, said Orangers. Last year, one honoree was recognized for her post-Katrina service in New Orleans.
This year, the winners came mostly from the Philadelphia region, with a few from New Jersey. Locally, four honorees come from schools located in Montgomery and Bucks counties. During the ceremony, each recipient took the stage and had their achievements described in detail by Gwen Borowsky, CEO of the National Liberty Museum, and Nick Ospa from TD Bank, which has sponsored the award since its inception.
Madison Bailey's fundraising talents earned her a spot on the stage Thursday afternoon. A junior at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, she managed to raise more than $100,000 for her bat mitzvah, which she then donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
"Two of my younger cousins were diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when they were seven years old," said Madison. "I just love the feeling of giving back to people who need it more than I do."
Madison has also led her school's fundraising campaigns to feed the hungry on Thanksgiving and has acquired more than $6,500 in donations to help the community of Woodstock, Vt., a small, New England town that was struck hard by Hurricane Irene.
"My family has a summer home up there," said Madison. "We were up there when the storm hit. The water got as high as 30 feet. At one point, a bunch of propane tanks spilled out of a warehouse and started hitting the side of one of the bridges."
The town is still recovering and under a lot of damage from the storm. Every time her family travels back up there, Madison does what she can to assist with the rebuilding efforts.
All of the winners of the Young Heroes Awards received a certificate of recognition, a medallion and a gift bag. They will also be featured in a year-long exhibit at the National Liberty Museum, each getting their own placard describing their accomplishments.
"These students are an inspiration for their schools, their communities, and for anyone who has been impacted by their service, generosity and heroism," said Tom Shoemaker, Greater Philadelphia Market President for TD Bank.