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International Youth Appointed to National Youth Leadership Council

March, 2014
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In late January, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program, announced the new class of members accepted to the program’s 2014 National Youth Leadership Council. Among those accepted was Madeline Xi Cui Friedman, a member of the international community in Zhejiang, China and Brookeville, Maryland. Madeline Xi Cui Friedman joins 32 other youth members across the United States for a year-long Leadership Development Program.

Madeline, a high school senior at SCIS-HIS, considers herself a global citizen and humanitarian. As a third culture and cross culture teen attending school overseas, she has been fortunate to travel worldwide, exploring and photographing the natural world, trekking in rainforests, wetlands, deserts, and seas, protecting sea turtles from poachers, creating orangutan habitats and collaborating with Overseas Girl Scouts to build rain gardens, greenhouses and repurposing centers.

Madeline founded Roots & Shoots Clubs at two international schools and serves on the Shanghai Roots & Shoots International School Leadership Council. She has led many projects including Eco-Audit, Youth for Environmental Sustainability (Y.E.S.), Eco-Week, Earth Day, tsunami and earthquake relief and creating an organic seed-to-table gardening program for her school community. Her most meaningful project was The Million Tree Project in Inner Mongolia, where she raised funds and assisted in the planting of over two thousand trees to help stop desertification. Over time, returning annually to Inner Mongolia, she witnessed the return of wildlife, witnessed the local farmers planting crops and educated school children about the need for sustainability and establishing relationships with the community.

Madeline was recognized as an outstanding volunteer at the 2012 Shanghai Roots & Shoots Youth Festival, and was presented this award for her work to achieve the Green Star School Award by Jane Goodall. She was an Alcoa Foundation ‘Go Green Ambassador’ grant recipient in 2012, enabling her to attend an environmental caucus in Prague, Czech Republic and coordinate green initiatives with other Girl Scouts across the globe.

Currently she is creating a documentary on the plight of the orangutans, calling on immediate attention to preserve the rainforest in Borneo. She can often be found sharing her passion for youth advocacy as a guest speaker and workshop presenter at science museums, schools and public events. 


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