Wanting to make the world a better place since the age of six, Madeleine decides to step away from her of classical dance training and becomes a philanthropist. We are honored to have Madeleine as the youngest GoPhilanthropic ambassador– after raising funds for a 6th grade classroom for Maji Moto in Kenya, she is now funding a beekeeping program in the Widow’s Village. Madeleine will be visiting Maji Moto personally with her family next summer in addition to traveling to SE Asia with GoPhil to meet all of our partner programs in the Spring 2014. Thank You Madeleine!!
“Making a difference in the world is far more rewarding and fulfilling than focusing only on oneself, which is so common in this age. I plan to devote my life to helping people around the world become self-sufficient and have the chance to better their lives. My experience shows how one can help bring about change little by little, bit by bit….”
Read her story…
My name is Madeleine Larsen. I am currently a junior at Santa Fe Preparatory School. From ages ten through sixteen I dedicated my life 100% to pursuing a career in Classical Ballet. I attended many years of summer dance intensives with merit scholarships and attended the North Carolina School of the Arts for one and a half years, earning a merit scholarship there as well. These six years of intense dance training taught me the benefits of perseverance as well as how to be totally focused and committed in my work.
While the life-changing decision to stop dancing was a difficult choice, I gave it a great deal of thought and realized it was the right course to take. I know in my heart that I want to live a remarkable life and am committed to helping people in need and working to address the world’s inequalities. I have wanted to make the world a better place since about the age of six. I remember once saying to my mother that I wanted to become the President of the United States so I could stop violence and wars. My plan was to paint the White House yellow, and in lieu of savage brutalities, I would host a tea parties so everyone could work out the world’s problems in a diplomatic and civilized fashion. Obviously this is a very naive thought, but my desire to make the world a better place remains very much a part of me.
Once I stopped my dance training I came back to Santa Fe to live with my family and began attending Santa Fe Prep. In February of 2013, Chief Salaton, a leader of a Maasai Tribe in Kenya, came and spoke at Prep. The energy that emanated from him was both remarkable and inspiring; to be introduced to a man with such a simple life who was filled with so much happiness was absolutely wonderful.
While volunteering at a local fundraiser for Chief Salaton, I learned that funding a sixth grade classroom, something that would help this Tribe thrive and grow, would require just $4000. From one perspective this is a lot of money for a 16 year old to raise, but at the same time, it didn’t feel impossible. From that moment on I was committed to raising this money, and spent the next four months baking for a Bed & Breakfast, selling Maasai jewelry, having yard sales, and getting pledges for the remaining $2000 from friends and family.
After Funding a 6th grade classroom for GoPhil’s partners Maji Moto in Kenya–she commits to funding a beekeeping enterprise…
Knowing that I have funded a sixth grade classroom is such a rewarding feeling. I never knew it could be so easy to make such a remarkable difference. This initial success has inspired me to continue with my philanthropic efforts. My interest is primarily in empowering women, and I am currently working on raising money for a beekeeping enterprise for the Widow’s Village of this same Maasai Tribe. With the beekeeping enterprise, these women will be able to begin a honey business which will allow them to provide for themselves and their children and have a positive environmental impact.
Making a difference in the world is far more rewarding and fulfilling than focusing only on oneself, which is so common in this age. I plan to devote my life to helping people around the world become self-sufficient and have the chance to better their lives. My experience shows how one can help bring about change little by little, bit by bit, as long as one is committed to the cause.