Most people live an entire lifetime and never save another person’s life. Before graduating from Woodgrove High School in June, Madison Grove already achieved this goal. As a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, she logged more than 1000 hours of community service and was trained in basic life saving techniques as part of her certification. When a patient needed CPR, Madison knew what to do and revived the individual.
She will attend Virginia Commonwealth University this fall with a plan to enter medical school after her undergraduate career. There is an excellent chance she will achieve that goal since she already has a long list of accomplishments on her resume.
Like her peers, Madison had her middle years of high school interrupted by COVID. In December of 2020 she turned 16 and immediately joined the Loudoun Medical Reserve Corps. This allowed her to serve in the mass vaccination programs Loudoun County undertook that winter when vaccines were approved and available. This community service introduced her to the further opportunity to become a volunteer EMT. Remote learning took less time than classroom learning. Sports were also out of the picture, so Madison had time to invest in other things. In addition to her service as a volunteer EMT, Madison busied herself with additional online learning. She has taken on-line courses every summer since the end of her freshman year. Picking up her mother’s old college textbooks on psychology and neuroscience led her to on-line coursework at American University after her sophomore year. As a result of those courses and through the Horizon Academic Research Program Madison was able to complete an independent study project with a research scientist from the University of Chicago. She completed a systematic review of neurodegenerative diseases (like Alzheimer’s) under the guidance of this scientist.
Madison had no difficulty keeping herself engaged and learning during COVID but returning to the classroom her junior year was difficult. “I had more anxiety returning to the classroom than I had during remote learning. I was taking the pandemic very seriously, but some of my peers were not.” The solution? “I’m an early riser, and the discipline of running and reading calmed my spirit and got me through the worst of it.”
Living in Lucketts all her life she attended both Lucketts Elementary and Smarts Mill. Her father is a teacher (Art) at Woodgrove, so commuting with him every day made attending Woodgrove an easy choice. Although science and math come easy to Madison, her father’s colleague in the Art Department, Mr. DeMark was an important connection for her at Woodgrove. “His classroom was a safe space for me. Although I missed my friends from Smarts Mill and Lucketts Elementary, making friendships in a new school was difficult but important wonderful preparation for college.”
“Growing up in Lucketts made me appreciate the beauty of nature and it’s model of harmony for humans.” A neighbor, the late Ludlow Clark, was instrumental in the creation of the JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary. Madison volunteers there as well as at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. She founded the Environmental Club at Woodgrove and leaves it as her legacy for future generations of Woodgrove students.
Congratulations Madison! You inspire all of us! We have no doubt you will be a success wherever your years at VCU take you.