Co-Curriculum: A Look at Each Year


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 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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Madeira's Co-Curriculum Program

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

Learn More

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Science, 2010-Present

"The exposure educated me in the field of medicine, and the placement has definitely impacted my career decision."

Marina Akhavein '18

My experience at Oregon Health and Science University was amazing. The exposure educated me in the field of medicine, and the placement has definitely impacted my career decision. Everyone thought I was a medical student. I was treated with so much respect.

It was really rewarding to see firsthand how you can change someone's life for the better. Being able to give back was an amazing experience.

Marina Akhavein '18 Oregon Health and Science University
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

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
Journalism, Politics, 2010-Present

"I've stayed in touch with my supervisor, and knowing my interest in journalism, she was a great resource for helping decide on my senior year placement at the Newseum."

Mollie Thomas '16

I loved working on the Hill. I grew up so much professionally.

After a few days on the job, I was trusted with so many tasks: manning the front office (sometimes by myself), attending hearings, and doing research. There was rarely a time when I wasn't busy. Politicians are often seen as out of touch, but I got to see first hand how hard they work for their constituents. It was eye-opening. The experience really sparked my passion for politics.

Mollie Thomas '16
Journalism, Politics, Nonprofit, Health, 1980-1989

"All my Co-Curriculum placements turned into summer jobs. My Madeira resume helped me get a job with ABC News after college."

Avery Miller '86

In two ways, the Co-Curriculum program shaped my life and led to a career as Senior Editorial Producer at CBS's Face the Nation.

Madeira gave me the journalism bug. Reading the newspaper and keeping up on environmental issues led me in my junior year to working in the press office of Senator Mark Hatfield, a Republican from Oregon. Although low on the totem pole in the Senator's office, I would answer calls from reporters and direct them to a colleague that would get them the information they needed. This exposure to the inner workings of a press office fascinated me. My help with research or finding a constituent to put a face to a story showed me how journalism is character-driven. Senior year, I was lucky enough to volunteer as assistant to R.W. "Johnny" Apple, the distinguished international correspondent for the New York Times and stepfather of fellow Madeira girl, Catherine Brown Collins '87. All my Co-Curriculum placements turned into summer jobs. After my freshman year at Princeton, the New York Times hired me as a clerk during the summer of the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987. It was an extraordinarily exciting time to be in the Washington Bureau where the action was taking place. New York Times reporter Joel Brinkley would file his piece and then sometimes watch the nightly news before his story came out the next day. Eavesdropping on a busy newspaper newsroom, I realized the speed at which stories could be told through television. That was a defining moment in my career; I knew I wanted to be a broadcast television reporter. My Madeira resume helped me get a job with ABC News after college.

Co-Curriculum also shaped me through my sophomore year volunteer work. Social work had always intrigued me. On Wednesdays, I volunteered with four other Madeira girls at the Green Door, which provides services to individuals who suffer from mental illness, helping them navigate daily life. I worked with an individual who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Together, we would execute his daily tasks like grocery shopping, keeping track of doctor appointments, and picking up prescriptions. But I realized I lacked the patience and persistence for this noble profession when our amazing supervisor, who had worked in the field for 20 plus years, looked at me and said, 'This is an incredibly rewarding job, but I don't know if I have permanently helped somebody.' Her honesty helped me understand my shortcomings, and realize I could help the mentally ill in other parts of my life's work.  Thirty years later, through St. John's Episcopal Church in Georgetown and the Salvation Army Grate Patrol, my family and I work to help the homeless, many of whom suffer from mental illness. And at ABC News, our reporting team has worked hard to shed light on programs and medical advances for those who are grappling with diseases such as depression and drug addiction. Whether it's my professional career or my volunteer passions, Madeira's Co-Curriculum program created a blueprint for my life's footprint.

Avery Miller '86
Politics, Nonprofit, 2010-Present

"All the little things that Madeira teaches you, like being punctual, speaking with adults, and always giving your best effort, prepared me."

Elfrieda Nwabunnia '17

I think of freshman year as a metaphorical and physical leap of faith. I was scared of heights, but as part of an Inner Quest zipline activity I had to get over that and jump. Despite not feeling confident in my public speaking skills, I had to stand up and speak in front of my teachers and friends. I learned to trust in my own abilities and those of the people around me, and that really prepared me for my work tutoring students my sophomore year. Going into junior year, I was confident that I had the skills to work on the Hill. As a senior at Voice of America, I'm helping worldwide initiatives for freedom of expression and democracy.

Elfrieda Nwabunnia '17