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Co-Curriculum: A Look at Each Year

Co-Curriculum

What is it?

Madeira's award-winning experiential learning program, providing every student with 5 weeks of community service experience, a Capitol Hill internship, and a career-oriented placement.

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9th Grade

Building Strength

Important social, educational, and professional skills, such as public speaking, resume writing and team building are developed, preparing students for off-campus internships.

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10th Grade

Serving Others

Girls begin to expand their vision to their local communities. During one 5-week module, the sophomore class travels off campus daily to work with community groups, such as Special Olympics, Calleva Farm, and Garfield Elementary School.

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11th Grade

Effecting a Change

Juniors have the unique experience of interning on Capitol Hill, most often in a Senate or Congressional Office. This gives students the valuable perspective of how government operates.

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12th Grade

Pursuing a Passion

With three years of experience, girls are ready to make their internship their own. With guidance from the Co-Curriculum Office, seniors secure internships to explore something that might become a lifelong interest.

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Meaningful ● Masterful ● Mine

Madeira's Co-Curriculum Program

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Filter Co-Curriculum Stories By:

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Nonprofit, Politics, 2010-Present

"My internship at Amnesty International pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me the tools to implement changes. I know I will stay involved in fighting for human rights."

Grace Lee '16
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I have always volunteered outside of school, but sophomore year really broadened my concept of service. My experience as a reading tutor allowed me to see how one person could make a dramatic impact.

Going into junior year, I took that outlook of service into my internship on the Hill. Listening to constituents' concerns or problems. I began to think about our nation's issues at large, and knew for my senior year internship I wanted to focus on human rights.

Grace Lee '16
Politics, 2000-2009

"Co-Curriculum at Madeira and working for Congressman Payne were both invaluable experiences in my life and have truly impacted my business."

Lindsey Holmes '00
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Congressman Donald Payne

I worked for Congressman Donald Payne of New Jersey my junior year at Madeira. And when I say 'worked,' I mean it! I not only had to do typical page tasks like delivering correspondence between offices or getting an afternoon snack from the cafeteria for the office secretary, I actually opened office mail, responded to constituent letters and represented the office at hearings. I credit that office with helping me build my writing, management, and interpersonal skills.  

Years later, after attending Sarah Lawrence College in New York and living in New York City for a few years, I bought a house and settled in Newark, NJ -- Congressman Payne's district. I'll never forget in the first few months of living here, being in the post office and running into him. I reintroduced myself and told him just how impactful working for him during Co-Curriculum had been. He smiled, called me by name (12 years later!) and told me that he hadn't had a more dedicated intern since. Congressman Payne would become a client of my digital marketing and tech agency until his death in 2012. 

I've recently become an Entrepreneur In Residence at the New Jersey Institute of Technology's (NJIT) Economic Development Center. With that position has come an opportunity to host some smart and very talented interns. I have made sure that their time with me is as actionable and hands on as my time with Congressman Payne, with hopes to affect their lives as he has mine.

Lindsey Holmes '00
Health, 1980-1989

"I appreciate Madeira for providing those hands-on opportunities for a hands-on learner like me. I learned a ton and gained tremendous confidence from those experiences."

Sage Wheeler '83
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"The Co-Curriculum was one of the best things about my Madeira education. I am not an academic, but put me in the real world of work and I thrive. Upon receiving the two different report cards, my Dad remarked, 'It's clear you love work and are good at it; just try to get through school.' Get through school I did, but it was my sophomore and junior year placements where I thrived. Sophomore year I was a 'candy striper' at Washington Hospital Center; I worked in the terminally ill ward in the morning and helped in registration in the afternoon. Working with those at the end of their lives was powerful and poignant. Helping those coming into registration highlighted my skills and taught me a lot. I'll always remember my supervisor Margaret Stuckey's patient tutelage. The most memorable thing about being on Capitol Hill junior year was the opportunity to be in the place where decisions are made. Democracy and the federal government became real in that year. I appreciate Madeira for providing those hands-on opportunities for a hands-on learner like me. I learned a ton and gained tremendous confidence from those experiences."

Sage Wheeler '83
Science, 2010-Present

"I learned how to assert myself in a group of men much older than me, many life skills such as hitching a trailer to a truck, and most importantly, not to assume I know what a job entails from the title. "

Lena Badr '11
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My senior year at Madeira I had the unique opportunity to intern with Victoria Monroe, a Fairfax wildlife biologist.

When I first started, I thought that I would be collecting leaves, testing water samples, and anything else that encompassed my naive idea of what a wildlife biologist did. However, it turned out to be the complete opposite of what I expected! Victoria, in fact, ran the biggest deer management program in the nation. I spent my days with volunteer hunters accompanying them on hunts, learning how to check local deer for diseases, and surveying parks for environmental damage due to overpopulation. While it was definitely a unique experience, and I learned a lot from my time with Victoria. I learned how to assert myself in a group of men much older than me, many life skills such as hitching a trailer to a truck, and most importantly not to assume I know what a job entails from the title. Overall, I am very thankful for Madeira supporting me through this experience. It has not only shaped me as a woman, but has also provided me with a very interesting story to share.

Lena Badr '11
Politics, 2010-Present

"My time on Capitol Hill solidified my interest in politics and led me to become a political science major in college."

Katie Decker '11
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From the first day I became a Madeira girl, I was looking forward to my internship on Capitol Hill.

I had my mind set on interning for my local Congressman, Sam Farrr, whose daughter was actually my old riding instructor for many years. So on my first day, we went into his office and called his daughter together. After that, my internship exceeded my expectations as I was always busy working or engaging with other staff members. I loved every second of it and they must have liked me too because my office called the intern after me 'Katie Decker' as well.

Katie Decker '11