Foundation for friendship: Guaranteed Impact winner Madison Troth

It happens at some point on just about every elementary school playground. For whatever reason, some students feel excluded or are simply too shy to join others at play during recess.

Ten-year-old Madison Troth and her fellow Girl Scouts took note of this unfortunate dynamic and wanted to help. The result was the creation of the Buddy Bench at Lake Zurich’s Isaac Fox Elementary, a place where anyone feeling left out or lonely can go.

For her efforts, Madison has been selected as one of ten Guaranteed Impact winners.

“Our troop was searching for some way in which they could help their community,” shared Stacy Betz and Stephanie Beischer, co-leaders of Girl Scout Troop 63. “There were many wonderful ideas, but the girls decided on one to which they could all relate.”

The concept is straight-forward and effective—when someone sits on the bench, others will notice. They can then reach out to that individual and invite them to play.

“The girls felt this was a wonderful way to make sure everyone at their school feels included,” notes Betz and Beischer. “It’s also a way to make new friends.”

Madison’s Troop 63 used money they raised to purchase, paint, promote and donate the Buddy Bench to the school. The concept and implementation of the Buddy Bench earned the members of the troop the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve.

More importantly, it will offer solace to students searching for belonging for years to come.

This season, Guaranteed Rate and the Chicago White Sox are teaming up to put heroic kids and teens in the spotlight. The Guaranteed Impact Program celebrates young people who are making a positive difference in their schools and communities. The program’s goal is to encourage and empower kids and teens who are working to improve the lives of those around them. Recipients will be treated to a well-deserved day at Guaranteed Rate Field for a White Sox home game in a suite with 15 friends and family.

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