by Laura Giammattei
BOYCEVILLE — A science project during her freshman year of high school sparked a keen interest in forensic sciences for Madison Bygd.
“I remember describing my interests related to the project to my mom one day and she brought up forensic science. So, I started reading up on anything that had to do with forensic science and I just loved all of it,” she said.
Madison is the valedictorian of the Boyceville High School Class of 2016.
She is the daughter of Kevin and Sadie Bygd.
Madison says earning the title of valedictorian is an honor and a lot of hard work that paid off, but she did not do it alone.
“The support I got from my parents, teachers and classmates were the driving forces of my success. Their advice and encouragement in all the academic and extracurricular endeavors I was involved in really helped a lot. That, and of course, my own internal drive for success,” Madison said.
Madison will cherish many memories including playing on the softball field and watching from the stands at football games.
“My passion for softball began in elementary school playing tee-ball and it’s been my favorite sport ever since,” she said.
Madison is currently on the varsity softball team and plays the position of catcher.
In addition to softball, Madison participated in Science Olympiad, FCCLA and Drama Club.
“Drama was something that I am really glad I got involved in. Honestly, everything I was involved in gave me positive experiences and I have liked everything I have been in,” she said.
Madison is also very involved in her church, church choir and volunteering.
“Last summer I went to Detroit for an ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) youth gathering and I learned so much about other communities as well as what I can do to provide positive impacts on my own community.”
As far as favorite subjects go, Madison is all about natural sciences.
“Really, anything to do with science fascinates me,” she said. “Biology and chemistry specifically are my favorite areas of science.”
Madison will be attending Hamline in St. Paul where she will major in a natural science with a minor in forensic science.
“Hamline really impressed me with their forensic science and anthropology programs,” she said. “The first time I toured the school, I got the opportunity to meet with some forensic science students as well as the forensic science professor and they all made me feel so welcome and comfortable.”
Madison is already mapping out her career once she finishes college.
“I’d really like to get involved in forensic science research,” she said. “Right out of college I’d like to start out in a crime lab, but eventually get hired at a university or department to improve investigation methods, evidence collection and analysis, anything along those lines.”
“I’d love to do something that I’m passionate about and that keeps me entertained,” she said. “I don’t like being bored.”
Before heading off to Hamline in the fall, Madison plans on working as much as possible and spending as much time as she can on the lake.
“I want to have a bit of fun before real life starts,” she said, grinning. “I love tubing, wakeboarding, fishing, kayaking…really anything to do with the outdoors. I also love to hunt in the fall and downhill ski in the winter.”