The world of education is filled with hard workers — hard-working teachers, hard-working administrators and, of course, hard-working students. In recognition of the great students and schools in our neighborhoods, The Northside Chronicle is profiling just a few of them in this weekly blog feature.

Chronicle intern Tracy Patinksi sat down with students from many Northside schools to talk about their dreams and goals. These students work hard day in and day out to make their families and teachers proud, and each one was nominated for these profiles by their teachers and principals for their accomplishments in academics, sports, arts and more.

Photo by Tracy Patinski
Photo by Tracy Patinski

At 10 years old, Spring Hill Elementary student Madilyne knows quite a bit about helping out others.

When she was four, Madilyne saw a TV talk show featuring Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that donates hair to children suffering from medical hair loss.

“I was thinking wow, they must be really sad that they don’t have hair, and it must be really nice to go do that and donate,” Madilyne remembered.

And so after approaching her mother about what she had seen on TV, she did just that. As of her fourth grade year, Madilyne has had her hair cut and donated three times to the Locks of Love organization, with the whole-hearted support of her family.

“We don’t have a lot of money to give to charity, and it’s important to teach your children that it doesn’t just take money, that you can do things for free to help people out,” explained her mother, Stephanie.

Since Madilyne’s first donation, the project has become a family effort — her mother, grandfather, and grandmother have all donated to Locks of Love.

Although Madilyne admitted she was nervous at first, it has gotten a little easier to donate every time.

“I’m a little nervous right after, that people are going to ask where’s your hair? Why did you cut it?” she said.

But Madilyne plans on continuing to donate her hair as long as she is able to, and is already growing it out for the fourth time.

“I felt really proud of myself and good for doing something like that,” she said.

In between haircuts, Madilyne tackles studying as a fourth grade student at Spring Hill Elementary, where she is having a great year. Her favorite part of Spring Hill is the teachers, because they are very nice and understanding of the students, and the many friends she has made. Madilyne has attended Spring Hill Elementary since first grade.

In line with her donations to Locks of Love, Madilyne is thinking of becoming a hairstylist someday.

“I like to play with hair and make it pretty,” she said.

Her second plan is to become a veterinarian, because she loves animals and already has a dog and three cats at home.

But in the meantime, she stays busy with homework and her family, which includes a sister and two little brothers.

“I always have sometime to play with, and I’m never bored,” she said.

Although it gets a little crazy sometimes, Madilyne tries to be around when her mother needs an extra hand — and Stephanie agrees that she is a “big big help at home.”

Although Madilyne’s hair was just past her shoulders when we met, she was confident that it would grow quickly and she would soon be able to make a new donation. She also said that she would encourage more students to look into things like Locks of Love.

“It’s really good for people to do things like that, and nice for them to volunteer,” she said.