Madyson Foster, winner of Miss Fall Fest in November and contestant of this year’s Miss Tennessee pageant, was recently awarded the bronze medal of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The ceremony took place at the governor’s residence in Nashville.
The award was presented to her by Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Miss America Mallory Hagan were guests at the event.
The award’s purpose is to help young adults enhance their skills, health, and overall well-being. There were 85 recipients including the Boys & Girls clubs, Boy Scouts of America, and all 18 contestants of Miss Tennessee.
The process of being honored with the prestigious award is not a simple one. There are three rankings in the Edinburgh award — gold, silver and bronze. Four parts must be completed over a specific amount of time to be chosen as a recipient in each rank of the awards, which include community service, fitness, adventurous journey and skill enhancement.
In the bronze level it is necessary to complete a section in community service, physical fitness, adventurous journey, and a skill over a three-month period. The silver ranking takes place over a six-month to one-year period and the gold medal is awarded after a period of one to two years with the same four categories further enhanced. Though Foster was awarded in the bronze ranking, she is now planning to aim for the gold.
To begin her journey toward the award, the Ronald McDonald House in Chattanooga was Foster’s immediate choice for the community service portion. Foster grew up helping out with the Ronald McDonald House with her mom and was excited to have the opportunity to work with the organization over a longer period of time. Foster raised more than $850 through school bands for the organization.
Foster, who recently graduated from Birmingham Southern College in business and dance, decided to focus her chosen skill on marketing and public relations. In order to stay in shape and successfully complete the fitness portion of the award, Foster spent months working to keep her body healthy and in shape. Each week she was in class until 2 p.m. and would then spend three hours in dance followed by fitness classes or weight training at the gym.
The last portion of the requirement, adventurous journey, must be a two-day and two-night excursion out of the recipient’s comfort zone. Foster completed this portion with her two best friends and her brother on a camping trip. The trip was far out of Foster’s comfort zone as she had to set up the tents and the four had to find their own food without any assistance.
Foster will also participate in the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant on June 19-22 in Jackson. However, Foster admits, “there is life after the crown!”
Over the next five years, Foster wants to dance in a ballet company. She also wants to earn her master’s degree in dance and begin to teach while pursuing her master’s degree in business.