Meet the Mighty Maddox
My name is Maddox Shaw and I am asking for your support. You can call me the Mighty Maddox. I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in December, 2009. In January 2010, my birth mom was one of the250,000 people killed in the enormous earthquake that destroyedmuch of Haiti. I wasn’t even 3 weeks old. In one way I was lucky mybirth mom went alone to the church food pantry that day because the church collapsed in the earthquake, killing everyoneinside. I never got to see, smell or hear my birth mom again. To the right is my new mom Keiba with me when I was getting to know her -- I was in some rough conditions waiting for a second chance in Haiti and you can tell I knew better times were ahead! Since then, I, the Mighty Maddox, have been making the most of my second chance in life and excelling in my studies in Montessori school. To stay in the Montessori school that has allowed me to flourish I need financial support from generous people like you.
Some background: Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the 2010 earthquake was the most devastating natural disaster Haiti has experienced. My dad triedhis best, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to give me the life he wanted me to have. Westruggled, and I was hungry and diseased for most of my early life. I was still the Mighty Maddox, but I was in trouble.
Somehow, a miracle happened. Ms. Keiba, a physical therapyprofessor, volunteered for a medical outreach trip to Haiti to help thehundreds of thousands of people injured in the earthquake. On herfirst trip, she met me when my dad came to get help from herteam. Immediately, Ms. Keiba and I bonded deeply -- I visited her every time she returned to Haiti. After several meetings, my dadknew Ms. Keiba could provide me the life he wanted so desperately for me. He knew I would be loved deeply and have so much more opportunity than what was available to me in Haiti. He asked Ms. Keiba if she would adoptme and bring me home with her; it was a tough decision for a single woman and an enormous sacrifice for my father, but she said yes! You can see us hitting it off Mightily on the left. After years of extreme hunger, emotional insecurity, and months in an orphanage, my mom Keiba carried me onto the plane to the US when I was 2 1/2 years old.
As I adapted to my new life, I had to be taught lots of basic things: notto rush eating my food in case I wouldn’t get enough, to know mymom would not suddenly disappear, and even how to speak English.This was tough, but I persevered, and excelled as the Mighty Maddox – look out world I am going to make a difference!
My mom, who is first generation American herself, knew how important my education wouldbe to fulfill my hopes and dreams. And as a trained mental health professional, she knew the trauma I experienced could make traditional school hard for me, like fitting in a round peg in a square hole. Her love for me motivated her and she made personal sacrifices so I could attend Montessori school startingat 3 years old. Maria Montessori knew children have an innate ability tolearn and that when supported by an appropriate environment andeducators, they are guided through their developmental needs to reachtheir full potential. Kids can flourish to become a Mighty Maddox.
My mom was right, Montessori is what I needed. I struggled mightily at the beginning in school. Sometimes I was scared my mom wouldn’t be there at the end of the day. Other times, I just didn’t understand the language. Today I am Mighty in Upper Elementary and Iam thriving. I love math, reading, writing and art. I know I can do anything; I just need towork hard and learn the materials.
Still, as a single mom, Keiba has struggled hard to make ends meet and keep me in Montessori school. As I get older, tuition gets more expensive. My mom was going totransfer me to public school, but her friends insisted I stay, knowing how much it helps make me Mighty . I only have 2 1/2 years left until I graduate. Can you help me stay in the only school I have ever known with a donation toward my tuition? My name is Mighty Maddox Shaw and I approve this message!
- Jason Walls
- Ralph Sowder
- Gregory Herzog
Organizer and beneficiary
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