Pennsylvania Teen Lives to Make a Difference
Story by Tamyra Horst
As thirteen-year-old Makaela Smith begins eighth grade at Garden Spot Middle School in New Holland, Pa., this fall she has more than just academics and cheerleading on her mind. Smith, who became a baptized member of Pennsylvania Conference’s Lancaster church in February, is determined to make a difference in the world around her.
Two year ago, Smith asked her principal if the school could do a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, a disease that took her uncle’s life. He told her no. Her mom, Joline Martin, thought that it was a great idea, but figured if the principal said, “no,” the answer was no. Makaela wouldn’t take no for an answer and contacted the school district superintendent. He encouraged Martin to bring her daughter in so they could explain why the school couldn’t participate. By the time Makaela left that meeting, they had come up with an idea to make it happen.
Smith helped form the Do Something Club. Through this student-led club, sponsored by teacher Kelly Heisig, about 30 students meet each quarter to do something that makes a difference. Serving as president, Smith led the group as they not only raised $500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, but also organized a coat and food drive that helped 12 families in the community, raised enough monies for 25 micro loans through KIVA in honor of the Sandy Hook (Conn.) victims, organized a “pay it forward” event at their school and raised $982 in one day for those impacted by the Oklahoma tornado.
“Even if they find a cure for cystic fibrosis, I won’t stop,” says Smith. “I want to live my whole life caring for other people.”
Smith is an honor student inducted who was into the Spartan Society based on her leadership, citizenship and academics.