DALLAS TWP. — Agriculture, horticulture and subsistence farming – Dallas High School senior Madalyn Arthur wants to do it all.
The 18-year-old has big dreams and has plenty of ambition to fertilize them, which is why she is one of 20 area students featured in the Times Leader’s Excel special section.
“I want to leave behind a better world,” Madalyn, of Dallas Township, said.
Arthur’s interest in agriculture was an offshoot of her mother Susan’s green thumb.
“I love to grow sunflowers,” Madalyn said. “I would love to subsistence farm and have a colony of (honey) bees.”
Subsistence farming is when a farmer grows all the food to meet his family needs, Madalyn said.
“My mom is an avid gardener,” she said. “That is one of the things that makes me want to study food science.”
Food science is the study of food production and development. Madalyn will attend Penn State University in State College and plans to major in either food science, sustainable agriculture or horticulture.
However, gardening is not the only thing on her plate.
Madalyn is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities at school, including being the captain of the Knowledge Bowl Team, which is a type of trivia group. She is also the president of the Diversity Club and was a witness for the Mock Trial Club.
She also is carrying two advanced placement classes, chemistry and English Literature.
Madalyn also works as a tutor in math, biology and chemistry.
“I used to need a tutor, and I really appreciated others helping me out,” she said. “I like to give back.”
With all of those commitments, the teen still finds time to work part-time at Wegmans Supermarket in Wilkes-Barre and earn a spot on the Dallas High School honor roll.
“I’ve been at Wegmans Supermarket since 2015,” Madalyn said, adding the work provides her with the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of foods.
“I tried a lot (of different foods),” she said. “Some I liked and some I didn’t.”
The experience inspired her to develop a fresh perspective on life.
“I see something beautiful in everything in the world,” Madalyn said. “I think if you try one new thing every day you will find out how many wonderful things there are in the world.”
Madalyn is the youngest of nine children.
“I have a blended family,” she said.
She has six sisters, Anna, 42; Phoebe, 42; Nikki, 40; Erika, 39; and twins, Becky and Kate, 35. Madalyn also has two brothers, Matt, 38, and Damien, 36.
Madalyn said, jokingly, having all those older siblings makes it feel that she has nine parents.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.