GODFREY | When you think of middle school-age kids, you may not immediately think of positive role models — but 12-year-old Madeline Rae Brahler may surprise you.
The Alton Middle School student and Godfrey resident recently was chosen to be one of 12 students honored as 2015 Gateway East Young Achievers and was selected from within that group to be one of four Gateway East Young Achievers of the Year.
“My teachers nominated me,” Madeline said, explaining that teachers Lisa Harris, Rachel Motsinger, Darren Lamere and Brad Bolt, along with Piasa House Principal Roger Hetge, worked together to enter her into the competition.
Madeline won $50 and a medal for being selected as “a good leader at school and at home.”
“She’s just an all-around good student and athlete, involved in all kinds of stuff at the school,” Madeline’s mother, Nadia Kambarian, said.
The Gateway East Young Achievers then selected Madeline to be one of the four Young Achievers of the Year, for which she received a certificate and $250.
Next, the Gateway East Young Achievers committee nominated Madeline for another award. She learned she was chosen as one of 16 International Leadership Network 2015 Young Achievers. According to their website, the St. Louis-based organization gives the award “in recognition of positive achievement, behavior, leadership and service.”
Madeline is well-rounded, participating in sports and extracurricular activities. Her athletic interests include track, indoor and outdoor soccer, cheerleading, dance and gymnastics. Of these, she is most proud of her accomplishments in gymnastics and track; this past year, she competed in sectional and state track meets.
Her extracurricular activities include honor choir, student council and GEMS Club. Madeline said the GEMS Club, sponsored by teacher Theresa O’Connor, explores math and science career options for girls through guest speakers and field trips.
But Madeline already has her mind made up; she plans to become a family physician.
“I like working with people and helping people out, and I like how doctors are really nice and really helpful, and I want a challenge,” she said.
She is ready to get a foot in the door at the doctor’s office as soon as possible, as well. After her older sister procured a veterinary internship, Madeline decided she wants an internship of her own in a doctor’s office.
“I want to go and see doctors work,” she said.
So how does a go-getter like this spend the summer before eighth grade? Outside of cheerleading practice for the fall football season, her mother says she’s “playing and being a normal kid.”