Miss Montana 2017, Maddie Murray paid a visit to Alberton and Superior Schools last week to spread her message, “Gift Your Gift of Service”. Maddie was crowned on June 17, 2017 and represented Montana in the 97th Miss America Competition on ABC in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 10th. She performed “God Help the Outcasts” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
She said she had “enjoyed every moment of this once in a lifetime opportunity”.
At this year’s Miss Montana Competition, she wowed the judges with her vocal performance of “The Prayer” by Andrea Bocelli said a statement in her press release. Maddie earned additional scholarships by winning both the Thursday night Preliminary Evening Gown Award and the Friday night Preliminary Lifestyle & Fitness Award, as well as the Overall Interview Award. At the end of the week, she not only walked away with the job but also with $5,725 in cash scholarships to put towards her education.
Born and raised in Corvallis, Montana, 19-year-old Maddie is currently sophomore at Gonzaga University, majoring in Human Physiology and minoring in Public Relations. She aspires to become a Physician’s Assistant.
Her passion for community service is the drive behind her personal platform “Gift Your Gift of Service.” It’s this message that she has taken with her on her Crown to the Classroom tour this year. In her presentation at the Mineral County Schools on Jan. 31, she promoted her platform and encouraged kindness while focusing on the importance and benefits of giving back.
“Each and every individual has their own unique gifts and she hopes to inspire Montana’s youth to gift theirs in the spirit of service,” she had said about her school visits, appearances, and work as the spokeswoman for Shodair Children’s Hospital.
During her presentation in Superior she had big gift boxes lined up and called down several students as well as High School Principal, Chris Clairmont. She asked the students if they wanted to keep their gift or give it to someone in the audience.
Everyone, except Clairmont, chose to give their gifts away. In exchange, she gave those students another gift box. Everyone then was allowed to open their gifts and all the students received something in their box, except Clairmont, his box was empty.
Her point was that if you give something away, you will receive something back but if you don’t give something away, you won’t receive anything back. Her point was highlighted by a video of the circle of people giving. As well as several of her personal experiences.
She said one of her service projects in high school required students to pick up trash along the highway. During that project she met one of her best friends who she is still close with even today, “if I hasn’t done that project, I would have never met her.”
Maddie was heavily into sports up until her sophomore year of high school when she was injured and side-lined. Up until that point her entire life was just school and sports. But, after she was injured she began volunteering to fill her time and found it to be very fulfilling.
It was during a medical mission in Nicaraqua that she realized she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, “by volunteering you learn something about yourself,” she said.
During her presentation, she also talked about her own struggles in high school with making friends and being bullied. It was through those experiences that she learned to reach out and make friends by overcoming her fears of being rejected. She also talked about her struggles that eventually led to the Miss Montana competition. Maddie lost many times before she started to find success and thought about quitting, “but I kept trying and eventually I won and now I have the opportunity to do this which has been a great experience and is paying for a lot of my college education.”