Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Name: Madeline Frankel
From: Randolph, New Jersey
Grade: 12
School: Randolph High School
Votes: 0

As an individual with Type 1 Diabetes, it came to my attention that
there was no support system for young girls with Diabetes within the
hospital where I receive my treatment. It was my mission to seek
change. With the help of the BD Diabetes Center social worker, I
devised a support group for girls living with Diabetes, calling
ourselves ‘The Diabetic Divas.’ The Diabetic Divas provide a
safe haven where girls learn to develop confidence and not only
accept, but embrace their condition. They do so in an environment
designed to make them feel comfortable while gaining an understanding
that there are others who face the day to day challenges of living
with Type 1 Diabetes. Most importantly, these girls learn that on
this prolonged journey to the cure, they will never walk alone. I
serve as an outstanding leader through my founding of the ‘Diabetic
Divas’ and help in planning meetings and special events. I have
inspired change and intend to continue helping those living with Type
1 Diabetes. Through this process, I have come to understand that
being a leader and a volunteer requires not only the ability to “take
charge,” but as importantly, to listen. An effective volunteer
strives to simply help others and the first step to doing so is
listening. Though the Diabetic Divas look to me as a mentor and a
leader, I view them as an inspiration as well. I was in middle
school when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes; however, many of
the Divas were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes during infancy or
elementary school. They are young girls who carry themselves as
women through their resilience and their ability to cope and manage a
highly demanding chronic illness.

To me, “forward looking” acts as a series of questions to ask
oneself to spark personal reflection. “How have I made a
difference?” “Who could use my assistance?” “What more can I
do to make the world a better place?” These inquiries can be
pondered with an infinite number of answers. Thus, “forward
looking” means to not strive toward a task completion or the “end,”
however to entertain the possibilities of “next” to instill an
endless cycle of moving “forward.”


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