Elite Lawyer

Spring 2021 Elite Lawyer Scholarship Winner

Madeline Gendreau

Madeline Gendreau

Each year, Elite Lawyer honors exceptional students with a scholarship to support their pursuit of higher education. For the Spring 2021 scholarship, applicants were asked to submit an essay or video discussing the positive change they are working to bring to their community. Our Spring 2021 winner is Boise State University student Madeline Gendreau, whose essay was selected from over 100 applicants.

Read Madeline’s Essay:

Prior to my freshman year of college, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in my community. My parents and grandparents have always volunteered in some capacity and strived to be of service to others. Whether it was improving handicapped access at the church we attend or delivering meals to needy families, my spirit of giving was cultivated at a young age. Through the direction of my family, I have a passion for helping others in my community, and I want to bring a positive change in 2021.

I’m diligently working to improve and make a measurable difference in my local community. According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho has the second highest rate of accidental drowning for children under five of any state in the nation. This is due largely in part to over 13,000 miles of canals dug for irrigation throughout the state. As a life-long, competitive swimmer and the current Miss Boise, I am arranging free or low-cost swim lessons to those less fortunate in the Boise community. I am collaborating with a local swim team, USA Swimming, and local organizations to connect with juveniles that most need to learn the life-saving skills. From my own experience, I know that learning to swim at a young age promotes a long-lasting passion and contributes to confidence in the water.

A few years ago, I instructed one of these lessons myself, and I was surprised when children of all ages showed up without ever having experience in the water. At that moment, I understood how much of a danger bodies of water present to them. One inadvertent slip, or an emergency at a local lake or pool party, could lead to an accidental drowning for these children. From that experience, I knew I had to find a way of facilitating these lessons in Boise, so that every child, regardless of their background, will have the opportunity to not only be able to learn a life-long skill, but will also understand that it can be a fun activity that can be done at any age.

The key to the success of this program is to connect with the proper organizations, set achievable goals, and celebrate those milestones with the people that will assist me in striving to bring these essential skills to our young community members. I know that creating a program for my community is essential to teach awareness that swimming is the only sport that may save a life, promotes a healthy lifestyle, and builds muscular strength and immunity.

Throughout my volunteer experiences as a young girl and my passion for helping others, I am determined to be an active community member, support a thriving society, and bring a positive change to my community. By volunteering my skills as a swimmer and using my influence as Miss Boise, I am striving towards an increased awareness of water safety for the betterment of our youth.

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