Madison Neighbors, a member of Destrehan High School’s class of 2022, graduated with Honors. And while she took numerous Advanced Placement and Honors courses in high school, as well as participated in many clubs and extracurricular activities, what really sets Neighbors apart is her service.
Throughout her high school years Neighbors has volunteered at food distributions after Hurricane Ida, at the Alligator Festival, at the Destrehan Fall Festival and through the Southeast Louisiana Youth Council. She has volunteered on Super Saturday at Carousel Gardens in City Park to pick up the Christmas trees and lights from Celebration in the Oaks, and also at Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans.
Her volunteerism didn’t stop there. Neighbors has worked with the Southeast Louisiana Youth Council to donate to the Animal Rescue of New Orleans Pet Drive, and has also done work with Toys for Tots and the Matthew 25:35 Food Ministries. She has volunteered at the Tea Cup Auction and with the Gift of Love Food/COVID Supply Drive and National Women’s Month Drive.
“I participated in a Red Cross fundraiser after Hurricane Ida to help the Red Cross provide shelter to those with nowhere to go and to distribute meals and snacks to impacted communities across the state,” she said. “At the church I attend – Galilean Lutheran – our church made care packages including non-perishable snacks and personal care items to distribute to the homeless of the community.”
Neighbors was an also an active student at DHS. She was a part of numerous choirs for all four years and also participated in Earth Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council, Newsletter Club, Robotics Club, String Theory, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Interact Club, Talented Theatre, Southeast Louisiana Youth Council, National Honor Society, National English Honor Society and the DHS/NES Mentor Program. She was a Student of the Year nominee.
“I also am a teen ambassador for an Instagram account called She Is Golden,” she said. “Last year, I had the ability to write a blog for the She Is Golden website about fighting racial injustice through the ‘three E’s’: education, expression, and explanation.”
In the fall Neighbors will attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study nursing. And while she’s excited to move on to bigger and better things in Alabama, Neighbors said there is also a twinge of sadness about her time at DHS being over.
“I cried on the last day … I wasn’t expecting that, but I feel like I’m leaving a lot,” she said of her final moments as a student at DHS. “What I’ll miss the most about high school is the family aspect of it all … all of the stuff we’ve been through with the pandemic and then the hurricane … it just brought us all close together.”
Neighbors said the past year also afforded her the chance to get closer – literally – to her family, as they have been living in a trailer following Hurricane Ida. Her family has been a solid support system, Neighbors said, and she has simple advice for anyone entering high school.
“Trust the process and stand up for yourself,” she said. “Make sure your voice is heard and advocate for yourself.”