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Embodying Initiative in Leadership: Maddix’s Story

"Maddix may not recognize it yet, but he’s building community with our kids, and THEY feel it.” - Renee

Embodying Initiative in Leadership

Maddix is a 7th grader and a youth leader at CI Reading every Tuesday. “He always greets the students with a smile, checking them in as they arrive,” says Renee Meyer, CI Kids Director.

“We have high standards for our youth leaders, and Maddix sets a great example!” says CI Reading Director Ashley Larson.

Maddix has been through a lot in his 12 years, surviving a serious accident at the age of five. He lived with his grandmother for several years. Maddix is now able to live with his mom and his godmother, Rebekah.

“He’s been through so much in his life. Maddix is such a strong kid, and a natural leader. But he withdraws when there’s no connection or things don’t feel safe.

“I knew that volunteering at City Impact would bring out his leadership potential!” says Rebekah.

Every Tuesday afternoon at CI Reading, Maddix works to create a safe and fun environment for the students. He was reluctant at first, but as soon as he began connecting with the kids Maddix found his groove. “I’m so impressed with Maddix’s initiative! He’s such an intuitive leader, stepping in wherever he sees a need,” says Ashley.

“He has a great connection with kids who are having a hard time. He’s patient and engaging.

“Maddix may not recognize it yet, but he’s building community with our kids, and THEY feel it,” says Renee.

Maddix says that the toughest thing about being a CI Reading youth leader is being patient when kids are struggling. But he understands how external stress can derail a person, and the importance of creating a safe space for our readers to engage and grow.

“City Impact is kind of a home away from home for kids, and I like that!” says Maddix.

Maddix with Ashley and the CIR Youth Leaders

“I love having Maddix on the team. He’s already a strong leader with great instincts. Who knows what he’ll decide to do with that potential, but we want to help him grow!” says Ashley.