By Olivia Mears
It’s a normal weekend in the Caldwell’s apartment. Madisyn and her younger sister, Kamryn, run through the door from a walk outside, a small black puppy bouncing closely at their heels. The house is warm and smells of sugar. Madisyn runs to the kitchen, excited to help her dad put the finishing touches on her favorite dessert, oreo cheesecake.
“My dad owns a cheesecake business,” Caldwell said with a laugh. “It’s called ‘My Favorite Desserts.’”
After watching his mother whip up cheesecake after cheesecake in the kitchen during his childhood, Caldwell’s father made the decision to take on this hobby and turn it into something more.
Madisyn and her family moved to Kalamazoo when she was in fifth grade. Now a sophomore, she is a member of DECA, Distributive Education Clubs of America, a club that offers support and opportunities to students who have plans to pursue a career in business, or just get a leg up in the world of future employment. This type of program is exactly what Caldwell was looking for.
Growing up watching and helping her father in the kitchen, Caldwell has been considering taking over the business herself one day, or one like it.
“It seems fun to do and he really enjoys doing it,” Caldwell said. “I always help him with stuff in the kitchen. I would maybe start my own business one day too, if I find something that’s really interesting to me.”
Aside from feeding her ambitions in business, Caldwell’s father is an extremely encouraging role model in her life.
“He always teaches me how to do things in school the right way. He helps me set goals for later in life, and taught me that you should always take notes, and always ask questions when you don’t understand something,” Caldwell said.
These lessons in setting and pursuing your goals and aspirations shows in Caldwell’s lengthy list of achievements, including her trophy shelf of 19 track medals, and two trips to the Junior Olympics to top it off. She also maintains a glowing GPA, with plans to attend the University of Michigan when she graduates.
“DECA helps me think about being in a business, or starting one,” said Caldwell. “It helps you think about what you have to do to get there and succeed.”
This small club at Loy Norrix has showed Caldwell what she is capable of and has given her a set of skills that will be crucial if she one day decides to follow in her father’s footsteps and start her very own business.
As her junior year rapidly approaches, Caldwell has no intention of slowing down. Her goals continue to grow and flourish with the help of her family, her teachers, and of course, her own exceptional ambition.