Congratulations for our 2016 Vinson Orthodontics $500 Scholarship Winner: Madison Gladwell!


Madison graduated from Corinth Holders High School in 2016 with a weighted cumulative GPA of 4.65. Throughout her high school career, she was active in her school and community. Her extracurricular activities have included Varsity Basketball and soccer. She has also received numerous honors and awards such as : academic all conference, principal’s list, Coach’s award, All conference player, scholar graduate, high honors graduate and National Honor Society just to mention a few. She will attend Meredith College in the fall where she received a four year renewable Honors College Scholarship. Madison’s winning essay is included below.

“If I Had Three Wishes…What Would I Wish For and Why?”

By Madison Gladwell

As a child, one of my favorite games to play was the “Three Wishes” game. My friends and I would pick the top three things we wanted most. The answers to this question at that age consisted mostly of trips to Disneyland, becoming princesses, or, in my case, becoming a private detective like Nancy Drew. I’ve grown significantly since that time, and as I’ve grown, my wants and needs have changed- even though I still think Nancy Drew is awesome. My three wishes would be for more patience, a neighborhood park, and for everybody to always feel loved.

One of my biggest personal struggles is in patience. Ever since I was old enough to understand what patience was, I have known that I am not a patient person. I have always tried to set goals for myself, and I work hard to make sure I achieve them. I expect nothing less from myself than success quickly and efficiently, which has proven frustrating at times. I have slowly realized that the real world does not always offer ideal results, and certainly not as quickly as I have come to expect them. This unfavorable truth has exasperated me beyond belief more times than I can count, and so I would use one of my wishes to grant myself more patience.

My next wish would be for a neighborhood park. Since kindergarten, my favorite playground activity has been the swings. In this day and age, not a lot of children have the opportunity to do something as simple as swing on those swings, hang on monkey bars, or go on a slide outside of a short school recess. If every neighborhood had a park with a playground, kids would be able to easily play outside and interact with their friends in an inexpensive yet enjoyable setting. A connecting garden with flowers and trees could serve as a great place for parents or older siblings to hang out and read a book or do homework while supervising the younger children. This would also have a positive impact on the environment, as more trees and plants lead to cleaner air. I have a nine year old brother, and I know he would love to have a park nearby to visit. Because of him, and other kids like him, I would use a wish for a public park.

My final wish would be spent on making sure that everyone on this earth will always feel loved. Every day, one hears stories of those with depression- some with cases so extreme that they feel as though there is no way out except to end their life. My sophomore year of high school, a freshman made the decision to commit suicide, and the whole school was affected. I can’t imagine how her family must have felt, and I hope with all my heart that I never have to find out. I know that I have felt alone in the world at times- as if no one could possibly understand what I was feeling. Thankfully, I have been blessed with the most amazing family and friends. Whether they realized it or not, they have all pulled me out of my sadness more times than I care to admit. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as I am. Some children grow up in abusive or neglectful homes, while others simply cannot feel happy or loved without medical help. Most of the evils in this world stem from feelings of inadequacy or retribution. If every person felt as though they were loved unconditionally, I know that almost all perceived wrongs would disappear. Such a simple wish would lead to a monumental change for the better.

Whether us humans are blowing out birthday candles, watching a shooting star, or just playing a game with our friends, we have always found something special to wish for. We are always searching for ways to better our lives and the lives of those around us. That is the beauty of the human race- we never stop hoping, searching, or wishing.