Freshman shows love for language


Lizzie Bumbarger, Reporter

After spending a mere 5 minutes in a Spanish classroom, it’s easy to pick up a word or two, but any Spanish student, from I to V,  will say that learning the whole language is quite a feat. But a student in Senora Anderson’s second period is going above and beyond in the language world. 

Maddie Seiler is a freshman here at Big Spring who seems to have a passion for language and helping others. She is currently in Spanish II and would like to take both Spanish III and French I next year.  Last semester, Seiler attended a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where almost everyone around her spoke Spanish. Seiler claims this mission trip changed her life and how she perceived America and the modernized world. “It put in perspective about how much I have.” Seiler said. Also, the trip put a face to poverty. “I knew people were hungry, but now they’re my friends.”

This mission trip ignited a spark inside her, inspiring her to pursue a career in the missions field as a teacher, which will require to become at least trilingual. According to Seiler, many people in the Dominican Republic originally hail from Haiti, where French and Creole are the main languages. Because of this, Seiler will have to be fluent in both Spanish and French. “I feel like I need to know more.” Seiler claims.  

Besides a bright future in missionary work, Seiler also spends her time translating for the two exchange students from El Salvador, Vanessa Otero and Manuel Garcia. Although this is an impressive feat for a 15 year old with only 1.5 years of Spanish under her belt, Seiler refuses to call herself a translator. Instead she refers to her relationship with Otero and Garcia as “friends with slight language barriers.” At lunch and flextime, the trio can be found making pleasant conversation about anything and everything, filled with smiles, laughter, and joy. During these times, Seiler says “ [they] teach me all kinds of Spanish words, and I try to teach them English.”

When Seiler isn’t learning a new language, reading, or practicing her violin for the musical pit band, she can be found writing letters of encouragement for CURE International. CURE International is a non-profit organization that offers emotional, spiritual, and monetary support and relief to children with diseases, birth defects, and other ailments in over 30 developing countries. Through this organization, individuals can make monetary donations, or they can write letters of encouragement to a child in the CURE International network. Seiler has sent so many letters, she can’t remember the exact amount. She claims that “In third-world countries, the parents of children born with diseases or defects are told to throw them away, but CURE gives them the surgery and allows them to live normally.”

Seiler’s dedication, hard work, and caring nature is indicative of a bright future, where she hopes to see big changes in the world.  Seiler encourages readers to follow the link at the bottom of the page to write their own letter of encouragement to a child in a developing country preparing for surgery.