Local resident Madelynn Spear said she has always been passionate about fairness—whether mediating arguments between siblings or in her role as a leader at Taco Bell in Harker Heights.

This week, Madelynn was awarded a $25,000 Live Más scholarship by Taco Bell to pursue her dream of becoming an advocate for fairness as a lawyer, and ultimately a judge.

“In the future I see myself solving problems and debating constitutionality to uphold the standard of equality in our society, while simultaneously forging precident for the American people,” the 17-year-old said in her scholarship application interview.

She recently graduated from Central Texas College with an associate’s degree, and will graduated from Killeen ISD’s Early College High School with a high school diploma later this month.

Of the 13,000 applicants, Madelynn is one of six to be awarded $25 thousand, according to a news release. The Taco Bell Foundation’s Live Más scholarships which range from $5 to $25 thousand per student are awarded to employees and fans of Taco Bell ages 16-24 who are uniquely selected based on a 2-minute application video about what they love to do, rather than based on academic merit or athletic ability, according to the release.

This week, $4.6 million was awarded in scholarships to 531 students and employees across the country, according to the news release.

A total of $10.7 million has been awarded in scholarships so far, and a total of $21 million is projected to be awarded by 2021, the news release said.

The Taco Bell Foundation raises money for their scholarship fund through national fundraisers twice a year, such as the “Round Up” campaign, in which customers could round up their order total to the nearest dollar at checkout, and donating that spare change toward the scholarship fund, according to the release. Customers can also choose to donate a full dollar to the fund, the release stated.

In addition to the scholarships, the release stated Taco Bell Foundation also offers leadership development and education programs and summer workshops to help employees reach their education and career goals.

While the scholarship will go a long way toward helping Madelynn achieve her academic goals, she is already received awards for her volunteer involvement local community events and has begun studying public speaking—even competing in a speech competition at Central Texas College.

Through her roles as the student council president and the chair of city council’s youth commission, Madelynn said her focus is shaping the world for her generation in a way that promotes justice.

“I hope to one day pursue a career that goes beyond immediately serving the community,” Madelynn said. “Rather something that allows me to achieve change on a much larger scale with a more lasting impact.”

Her ultimate dream is to serve on The Supreme Court of the United States to influence the world on a global scale, she said, a quest that she would like to begin by pursuing a doctorate from Stanford University’s criminology school.

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