Youth Board Member
Madi Merritt is a senior in high school with an interest in journalism, criminal justice, and victim advocacy.
Throughout her life, many family members in law enforcement occupations helped Madilyn's gravitation toward criminal justice, specifically, child sexual abuse.
During her junior year of high school, Madi took on a student journalist role to help her peers realize the extent to which sexual violence devastates victims. She wrote a review of the movie Audrie and Daisy, a documentary about Audrie Pott of Saratoga, California, and Daisy Coleman of Maryville, Missouri, two teen girls who were raped by classmates then vilified and bullied on social media. Audrie died by suicide eight days after the assault, and Daisy tragically took her own life at the age of 23, after years of battling depression from the trauma.
After her school's reluctance to publish her article in the school newspaper, End Violence Against Women International and Small Talk Children's Advocacy Center published Madi's article in full. Madi also received the End Violence Against Women International's "Game-Changer" award.
In addition to her writing, Madi earned a varsity letter for all four years of high school for sideline cheerleading, the All-Academic award in 2020 and 2021, and Lansing State Journal's All-Area award in 2020.
Madi enjoys donating her time volunteering at a local coat bank in the Lansing area, her school district's special education classrooms, and a local community kitchen at various times. Madi is also a member of her high school's National Honor Society.
Madi intends to pursue a college degree to support her becoming a prosecuting attorney later in life. At Small Talk CAC, Madi aims to do her part in raising awareness of child sexual abuse and providing a safe, welcoming environment for victims and survivors to share their experiences.