While an actual graduation date still has yet to be determined for Oakdale High School seniors, Madelyn Stueve has found a true bright side amidst all the uncertainty.
Madelyn is the Class of 2020 Leo Volz Scholarship recipient. It’s an honor worth a total of $100,000 to be used towards her future four-year college education.
“It means a lot to me and my family,” the 17-year-old said. “When I found out there was this feeling of disbelief, but it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulder. To be able to go to my dream college and not have to worry about student loans and debts.”
Madelyn’s “dream college” is Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego where she plans to major in Biology with a pre-medical focus. With a strong Christian belief she has chosen to minor in theology.
A youth leader since her sophomore year with her family church, The River Christian Community Church, Madelyn shared the experience which she first shied away from has been instrumental in her current choices.
“It’s kind of helped me deliver a passion for ministry,” she said. “I’d like to do something in the future along the lines of ministry as well.”
Her first passion, however, since a young age has been in the medical field. Her current plan is to continue on to medical school after earning her Bachelor’s and pursue an education in pediatrics.
Madelyn shared being the daughter of a nurse, as well as her volunteer time as a Junior Volunteer at Oak Valley and Doctors Hospital inspired the final decision.
“That’s really what led me to loving pediatrics,” she said of her varying experiences at the two hospitals, noting the rewarding feeling of being able to serve others in a hospital setting and interacting with the patients.
During her time at Oakdale High School, Madelyn has remained active on the OHS Volleyball team, Track and Field team, as well as been involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, student leadership, her hospital volunteer work and a job with Bloomingcamp’s Bake Shop.
Amidst it all she maintained a cumulative GPA of 4.17 and a current weighted GPA of 4.6. Despite a load and academic achievement which may leave some baffled and/or tired, the senior shared she’s loved every minute of the time at OHS.
“Everything from Oakdale has taught me to work hard and strive to be the best version of yourself you can be,” the Volz recipient said. “I’ve always been inspired and encouraged to work hard.”
As for the honor and learning of the news from Principal Mike Moore by phone, Madelyn shared ‘shocked’ as the best word to summarize her feelings, as well as her parents.
“I was hoping for the best out of it, but I really didn’t expect to be the one they chose,” she said, “so I was ecstatic to hear it was me.”
Equally excited were Madelyn’s parents, who were both working when she received the call. The senior shared calling her mom prompted tears on both sides of the phone.
“I think I get it just from having very outgoing and hardworking parents,” she said of her drive and work ethic. “I don’t think I would be like this, if I didn’t have them as role models in my life.
“They work so hard to give me and my sisters the best life they can give us,” Madelyn continued. “I want to work hard for them and I want to do everything I can to give back to them because that’s what they do for us.”
While much of the end of her senior year is not what was expected, Madelyn is ready for her next chapter and the journey down to San Diego.
“Not only is it the most amazing location on the water,” she said of her future campus. “It has an amazing bio department; I fell in love with everything about the bio department. I also loved that it was a campus rooted in Christian faith, that was a big thing for me.”
High school graduation plans still in flux, Madelyn is nonetheless focused on looking forward.
“It’s definitely a bittersweet moment,” she confided. “I’m going to miss Oakdale, but I feel they really have taught me so much and prepared me for my future. I feel really proud to have gone to Oakdale High School.”