By Alex Wilks/Now-Leader contributor
SURREY — Madison Fleischer has spent her high-school years mastering how to juggle schoolwork, playing on elite sports teams and a typical teenage social life, yet she has dedicated most of her time to her volunteer work within the community.
“I think what’s special about all the volunteer work that I’ve done is that it’s all over the place so I’ve been able to branch off into totally different things,” she said. “I’ve done office work, I’ve done volunteering with a chiropractor, I’ve done coaching and politics. I think diversity is definitely something that is important to me.”
The 18-year-old Surrey resident has logged over 4,000 hours assisting with various camps at the Richmond Olympic Oval, refereeing and coaching with the Seaside Volleyball Club, and helping out at her local church.
“I like the interaction with people especially through mentorship with younger teams,” she said.
“Being able to actually see a player at the beginning of the season and coach them throughout and kind of have that bond. I find that really special,” she adds.
Recently she stepped out of her comfort zone and became an active member of the BC Young Liberal Party in charge of outreach and event planning.
“It kind of came all of a sudden. No one really expected it from me. It came out of nowhere. I took it upon myself to do my own research and find a different party that aligned with my values,” she said.
Fleischer got involved and campaigned her way to the position of VP by setting up her own Facebook page and attracting enough attention to receive endorsements from Members of the Legislative Assembly and Ministers.
“I’m hoping to run sometime soon,” she explains. “I definitely want to run provincially as a MLA maybe in the next election if I can, if not maybe the one after that.”
Politics is not her only passion. As a competitive rower and elite volleyball player, Fleischer received eight full-ride sports scholarships from various universities across the United States. She dedicated most of her time to volleyball training at the Volleyball Centre of Excellence in Richmond and she also was the captain of her highschool team, Richmond Christian School, two years in a row.
“My days were pretty much 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. do volleyball, go to school from eight to three, school practice 3:30 to 5:30 and then drive to club 8 to 10.”
A recent sports injury forced her to reassess her next move. She tore her anterior cruciate ligament, a common knee injury in pivoting sports, forcing her to channel more of her energy into something new, like politics.
“Sometimes it’s like one door closes, another one opens,” said Fleischer.
“I think I kind of also bring that authenticity to politics. I know a lot of politicians get that kind of bad rap and I think it’s important for the next generation that’s getting involved that this is our future and genuinity in politics is definitely something that’s hard to find.”
Mom Lisa Fleischer is very proud of how her daughter has mastered time management.
“Even with this injury she pushes the limits,” she said. “Its true heart what you see in her. I’m just proud of the person she’s become and how she handles everything with such maturity and grace.”
Fleischer aims to start a Bachelors of Arts majoring in political science, with a minor in communications at Trinity Western University this fall. She also plans to attend law school down the road for Indigenous Law.
With graduation in her sights Fleischer vows to continue her volunteering into the summer months.
“I think youth in general play an important role in the community and any kind of involvement no matter what age you are I think it’s really important to just get involved. Whether that’s volunteering in politics, whether that’s being on the sports team, whether that’s being a voice in your own school.”