Palmetto High School senior Madeline (Maddie) Wise has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. Over the years she has earned her Bronze Award and her Silver Award. Now, she’s working on her Gold Award, which is equivalent to a Boy Scout Eagle Badge.
Her project is a sun safety campaign called Ban the Tan. Wise is planning to work with the club, HOSA, on the project.
The project will work with athletes to teach them the dangers of too much exposure to the sun and help them become aware of steps they can take to lessen the impact of the sun when they practice and play outdoors. The athletes will receive a pamphlet she wrote and designed, Chapsticks and sun safety bracelets.
She is interested in sun safety awareness because her family has a history of skin cancer.
“My mom’s side of the family is fair skinned and freckled,” she says. “I am the opposite – I have a tan. I have freckles that shouldn’t be there.”
Her sister has pale skin even though she has dark, curly hair while her dad had blonde hair as a child and was tan.
“I’m starting to realize more and more that the deep tone of my skin is not the way it should be,” she says. “I’m probably running the risk of skin cancer. It’s a cautionary thing.”
Wise hopes to have the project completed in March.
At school, she is the head of the advertising committee for the Student Council Senate.
“We work to create flyers, posters for all the school events,” she says. “I designed this year’s homecoming tickets.”
She’s a member of the National Honor Society, the Italian Honor Society and she’s the design editor of the yearbook.
“We created the fluid design for the yearbook,” she says.
She’s been on the yearbook since her sophomore year, starting as the club’s editor and then becoming sports editor.
She’s captain of the girls’ varsity soccer team. She’s been on the team since her freshman year. Wise started playing club soccer when she was three. Now she plays club soccer for the Cutler Ridge Soccer Club.
Wise would play soccer in college if the opportunity presents itself, but isn’t actively working toward playing at the college level.
“It’ll depend on where I go to school,” she says. “If I stay in state and go to the University of Florida or Florida State, there is no way I would play Division I soccer. But If I go to Babson College in Mass. I would play at a Division III school.
She has also applied to the University of South Florida, USC, Colorado State at Boulder and Colorado College.
“I would like to double major in finance and marketing,” she says.
The past two years, Wise participated on two Blue Mission trips to the Dominican Republic to provide sanitation and water to people in remote villages.
The first she went on the trip that built 16 latrines for villagers. This past summer the team provided water to a village.
“We built the gravity aqueduct,” she says “We built the tank.”
She’d love to go on another Blue Mission trip next summer but it depends on college admissions and whether she attends a summer term.
Wise does more than just attend the mission trips, she also plans meetings for Blue Missions.
Wise is also involved in Miami Waterkeepers, an organization dedicated to keeping Miami’s waterways safe and clean. She volunteers on beach clean-ups and Bay Day at Shake-a-Leg.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld