Madison Marcus wants to help people, directly and indirectly.
The Lakeside High senior recently expanded her humanitarian efforts by teaching CPR classes for the Augusta chapter of the American Red Cross.
"I love helping people as much as I can," the 17-year-old said. "By volunteering to teach others how to perform CPR, first aid, or how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator), I can indirectly help even more people."
Lynn Reese, the Red Cross' director of community education and volunteer resources, called it a rarity for a high school student to instruct CPR classes.
"I've been with the chapter for 20 years, and she's only the second high school student I'm aware of who has done this," Reese said.
Teaching CPR is just one aspect of Madison's involvement with the Red Cross. She also coordinates events, holds monthly parties for patients at Gracewood State School and Hospital, and plans Christmas and Easter activities for foster children.
Madison learned of Red Cross volunteer opportunities during a conference the group held at Riverside Middle School, where she attended.
"I saw all the things they do and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of," she said. "I started volunteering, and my role there just increased exponentially."
Madison is co-president of the youth board, leading a group of 125 high school and 75 middle school volunteers.
"The position of youth board president carries a tremendous amount of responsibility," Reese said. "As such, she's on the chapter's board of directors, runs weekly executive committee meetings and motivates other youth.
"She is the best of the best."
The honors student's medical training might better prepare her for a future as a physician.
Madison plans to attend Cornell University in New York with the aspiration of one day going to medical school.
"Whatever I do, I want it to be something where I can help others," she said.
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