Faces of AAO: Maddie Simon
Happy September! Let's get to know another alumna of the AAO, 2016 Aquatennial Princess, Maddie Simon! Since 2016, Maddie has continued her involvement by volunteering with the Visiting Dignitaries program, candidate orientation, candidate check-in, the Women's Expo, and the AAO Visioning Committee. And, in 2020, Maddie will be helping with planning Meet the Candidates!
Which community/festival did you represent?
Isanti Rodeo Jubilee Days
What is one of your favorite memories of being an Aquatennial Ambassador?
One of my favorite memories was Aquatennial Week. Throughout our year, we travelled across the state and the country representing Minneapolis, which only made my love for the city and festival grow. During Aquatennial week, I met many community members that shared their cherished memories with me from when they were younger, experiencing Aquatennial for the first time. After having these conversations, it became clear to me that Aquatennial is just as impactful to the community all these years later. At many events throughout the week, including the AAO Alumni Boat Cruise and the Torchlight Parade, I had the opportunity to meet many AAO volunteers and alumni. They all had one thing in common: the passion for Aquatennial. I remember thinking how amazing it was that a city and festival can impact people so greatly. That only made me more grateful to be able to represent the Minneapolis Aquatennial and be part of this 80 year tradition!
Why do you continue to volunteer or give to the AAO?
I believe in AAO's three pillars: volunteerism, community, and leadership. I have experienced first hand the impact AAO has on young women, and I love that I now have the opportunity to help this organization continue to fulfill its mission statement. I also love the connections that I am able to make by staying involved. I truly feel like I am part of a family with Aquatennial.
What are your hopes for the AAO/Aquatennial?
I hope that the AAO can continue to make an impact on communities and community members. Being on the Visionary Board makes me incredibly excited to watch AAO grow and evolve to continue empowering young women and providing them with the skills to succeed in a professional setting.
Maddie is a 2019 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she majored in Sociology of Law, Criminology and Deviance. She is a student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, with hopes of someday working in immigration or business law. Maddie enjoys listening to live music (and especially discovering local musicians), and is learning to play piano! She hopes to adopt a dog soon!
Maddie and 2016 Queen of the Lakes Maricia Pacheco were honored during the 2019 festival with the Steven K. Anderson Volunteer of the Year award.