Swanton Freshman Attends CADCA Conference in Orlando
Madison Roytek is a freshman at Swanton High School and, like the rest of her fellow freshman in the Class of 2026, she is about to embark on an educational journey over the next four years that will go a long way in guiding and shaping her life as she enters adulthood. Prior to beginning this next exciting chapter, Madison, a member of SEED (Students Encouraging Educated Decisions) since the fifth grade through SACC (Swanton Area Community Coalition), was given the opportunity to be educated in ways that will not only positively affect her own life going forward but the lives of many in the Swanton community.
This past July, Madison traveled to Orlando, Florida and took part in the CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America) Annual Mid-Year Training Institute conference with fellow students from around the nation including Kansas, Utah and as far away as Hawaii. Her funding for the conference was provided primarily through the generosity of local businesses, community service organizations and individuals.
For five consecutive days, Madison received a world-class education from leaders and advocates through sophisticated training sessions and workshops related to substance misuse prevention, dynamic keynote speakers, and networking opportunities. She gained a wealth of knowledge and has many ideas to prevent substance abuse that she will now bring back to the student body of Swanton High School.
“You make a stepped-out plan from where you start to where you need to end. The ending is the action you need to take for it to actually work,” explained Madison. “We were taught how an idea goes from ‘brain’ to ‘paper’ to ‘funding’ to ‘implementation’ in the schools.
Accompanying Madison to Florida was her mother MacKenzi. However, in the workshops, training groups, lectures and a host of other CADCA activities, this very young teenager was tasked with navigating the conference on her own. She gave a great deal of credit for her success in this new and sometimes chaotic environment to the confidence she acquired and the soft skills she learned during her four years in the Swanton Seven Initiative while in Middle School.
According to Andrea Smith, Executive Director of SACC, she chose Madison to attend the conference based on her experiences and contributions to the SEED program the past four years. “We have been involved with CADCA for the past decade and I knew she would be able to grasp all they had to offer,” said Ms. Smith. “They teach the youth how to make a greater impact on the community based on what the needs are, being able to tailor to and get creative to build a process of facilitating changes.”
The challenges for Madison will be many in her first year of high school with her studies, her participation with the volleyball team and her work with SEED. In conversations with several of her former teachers and mentors, they all expressed confidence in her leadership abilities and said she will meet the challenges head on and do very well for her peers and her community.
Pictured: Madison Roytek at the SACC booth during the Swanton Corn Festival