Students as talented and driven as HRV senior Maddy Graham are very rare to come by. Since Maddy was a freshman she has participated in numerous clubs and activities such as Fashion Club, French Club, 4H, Choir, Cheerleading, Earth Club, Cross Country, Dancing, Robotics, Nordic Skiing, National Honor Society, and Challenge Day Club, to name a few. “They’re all really great clubs,” tells Maddy, but her biggest passion lies with tennis.
“I remember getting my first racket when I was five, and I’ve loved it ever since, but I got really serious about it once I started high school,” Graham recalls. After feeling as though she didn’t have enough time for tennis, Maddy dropped Cheerleading and dancing to allow more practice time, she also picked up cross country and Nordic skiing in the off-season to get in better shape for tennis. Maddy has played a huge role for the girls tennis team by playing as the varsity number one singles position last year. “It has been really fun and I’ve gotten to encourage a lot of other girls to join the team.” Maddy has had many opportunities to represent Hood River in post-season play. Playing tennis is something Maddy says she will continue doing for the rest of her life and hopes to start youth tennis programs when she is older.
Despite not joining 4H until she was in high school, Maddy was able to become a state ambassador as well as getting chosen to be on the national courts congress delegation for Oregon along with Payton Riggert. “We’ve been friends since we were born,” explains Riggert. “Now we’re a big part of 4H and everything we do in 4H we do together, and help and support each other.”
After visiting Thailand this summer with an organization that helps prevent children from entering the sex trade, Graham felt inspired to continue helping her community and the world, so she started a club of her own called The World Change Club. Maddy gathered up some of her friends from tennis that were passionate about the same problems, and committed themselves to learning of some problems that they could help fix and raise money to do so. “4H has shown me that on my own I can make a change, but with my fellow students we can help change the world.” Maddy states. Maddy says this years focus for the club is to raise awareness of it to get more members and start raising some money.
Because of her interest in engineering Maddy joined the robotics team this past year. “its a really diverse group of students and it has been awesome getting to know them.” Says Graham. “I’ve found that robotics combines all the skills I’ve learned throughout high school, from building the robot to presenting it to the judges.” Maddy deals mainly with the building and business side of robotics, going out and finding sponsors for her team’s robot.
On top of all the activities Maddy is a part of she is also works as a lifeguard at the pool and is an AP student. “She is a steady ray of sunshine.” Maddy’s Med Bio teacher Dave Clarkson tells. “Her positivity is so sincere and consistent and she is just a joy to have in class. She asks great questions, helps other students, and pushes herself really hard.”