Madison Schoeneman: USF Pay it Forward Scholarship finalist

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – WANE 15 is proud to once again partner with the University of Saint Francis for the school’s Pay it Forward scholarship. Last year, Adams Central High School student Kevin Brown was the winner of the four-year all tuition paid scholarship.

This year there are once again three finalists and an Adams Central High School student is among them.

“I’m Madison Schoeneman and I’m 17 years old.” That’s how Madison Schoeneman, who goes by “Madi” introduced herself to WANE 15’s Terra Brantley. “I live in Adams County in Monroe, Indiana and one of my passions is 4-H. I show cows. I love doing it.”

“The Adams Central High School student recently won a 4-H contest started by the Shuck family. Madi said the family launched the Clayton A. Shuck Memorial award to honor their son, who loved animals. He died from cancer at the age of three.

Maddie won a cash prize after winning the contest earlier this year and decided to use that money to help children like Clayton. “I got $100,” said Madi. “I decided to make and give blankets. Everybody likes them. They help you feel secure. Each blanket cost $10. I wanted to do something for the kids because they’re fighting for their lives. So I made 10 blankets. That’s how Cuddles from Clayton got started.”

“My mom helped me cut because you have to cut the squares out and tie them. We did it in my basement and whenever we had the time.”

Since Clayton was a patient at Lutheran Children’s Hospital, Madi contacted Lutheran about dropping off the blankets. Before the drop off, she and her mom said a prayer asking God to bless the blankets and the children who would receive them. “Bless these blankets and thank you for blessing us and allowing us this opportunity to come here and do this today,” said Madi.

After praying they took them to the pediatric cancer unit at Lutheran and gave them to the nurses.

This project is not a one and done for Madi. “Since I want to keep this going, I made a fund for Cuddles from Clayton through my church and people can donate to it. I would like to branch out to other hospitals to give these blankets to other children,” she said.

Madi has also gotten her family involved. This Christmas they’re using some of their money to buy materials to make blankets. “For our family Christmas we decided we’re all gonna just make blankets and have a big blanket making party,” smiled Madi.

Madi wants to attend the University of Saint Francis where she can continue her Pay it Forward mentality while pursuing a career dedicated to serving others. “I feel like nursing is where I can thrive and give back and be with families who are in the worse possible time of their lives.”

“I want people to know you don’t have to go out and do something huge. You can make a big difference in small ways. You can change the world for someone with just one thing, one small act of kindness.”

WANE 15 and the University of Saint Francis will announce the four-year full ride scholarship winner and the two partial scholarship winners later this month.

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