CHIPPEWA FALLS — Marilyn Newton loves interacting with little children. She works in the daycare at Saint Charles Borromeo Primary School, and she envisions a future of working in pediatrics.
“I have a heart for kids,” Newton said. “I believe starting at a young age, learning your values and how to treat people, is pretty crucial.”
Newton, a McDonell Central High School senior, turned her love of working with children into successfully winning a scholarship.
In February, she participated in the 2019 Moose Youth Awareness program. She prepared four presentations for young children ages 4 to 9, where she dressed up as “Kim the Kind Cop,” and created a silly, fun voice to interact with the kids.
“I talked to them about kindness,” she said.
She created a goofy word “figigica,” or FGGC — standing for being friendly, gracious, generous and kindness. When the kids see her, they all quickly say the word back to her.
“It makes my heart smile,” she said of the kids repeating her made-up word.
Newton’s skit was recorded and sent to the Wisconsin Moose Association. She didn’t expect the “moose talks” to lead to anything, so she was surprised when she won a $1,000 scholarship from the organization in March. By winning, she also was selected to go to Philadelphia for five days in April to participate in the “International Moose Youth Awareness Congress.” It meant skipping her senior prom, but she added she has no regrets.
“It was the best experience,” she said.
While there, she won second place for an international scholarship and was awarded another $8,000 scholarship.
Newton’s teachers praised her for her work with others.
“She’s an engaged and involved student,” said social studies teacher Steve Roesler. “She goes out of her way to make people feel comfortable.
Religion teacher Sarah Aerts described Newton as “a go-getter.”
“She was one of our few students involved in our international club who wasn’t an international student,” Aerts said. “She made everyone feel welcome.”
Marilyn’s parents, Jeff and Lynn Newton, also are McDonell Central graduates (Jeff in 1986, Lynn in 1988) and are involved in the community; they were named the 2015 festmeister and festmeisterin of Oktoberfest.
“It’s a really big family thing,” Marilyn said of Oktoberfest, saying it was a great honor for them. “Our whole family was really excited.”
Newton’s older sister Madeline graduated two years ago and her 16-year-old brother, Luke, is a sophomore at the school.
“I’m blessed to go here,” Newton said. “The staff truly cares about every person in this building. They are here to listen.”
Newton considers math and religion as her favorite classes. Along with her studies, Newton has played on the school’s softball team all four years of high school, playing in right field. She previously played volleyball and basketball as well.
Newton will attend UW-Milwaukee this fall.
“I hope to be in the medical field, in pediatrics,” she said.
She will continue working in the St. Charles daycare this summer, and is also going on a mission trip to Guatemala June 15-26 with Chippewa Valley Bible Church.