Senior to shave head at Day of Giving Assembly to promote acceptance of others

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Senior Maddi Sousa will be shaving her head this January at the Pantene Beautiful Lengths assembly.

Photo by Emily Schackart
Senior Maddi Sousa will be shaving her head this January at the Day of Giving assembly.

After senior Madison Sousa stepped onto the floor at the Mack Plaque pep rally, Mr. Juster announced to the crowd that she would be shaving her long, dark curls for Pantene this winter.

However, Sousa isn’t just shaving her head to support those who have cancer.

She is also shaving her head to encourage people to not be afraid of another person’s differences. She wants to bring awareness to students who might feel excluded, and to remind Lancer Nation to reach out to students with disabilities.  

“I feel like people with disabilities in particular are excluded a lot,” Sousa said. “So I hope that when I shave my head and stand out, people will realize that I’m still Maddi, and I’m still their friend.  And then maybe they’d talk to other people.”

As a freshman, Sousa had watched LHS alum Myranda Brodsky shave her head in front of Lancer Nation at the Pantene pep rally. Inspired by Brodsky, Sousa made the decision to shave her own head her senior year.  


“I remember thinking Myranda was really pretty, and thinking ‘Why is she doing this to herself? Why is she cutting all her hair off?'” Sousa said. “But then I remembered that it was for a good cause and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s really big.’”   

Since her sophomore year, Sousa  has been talking with English teacher Mr. Juster during her lunch period, trying to formulate her own statement. One day while talking with Mr. Juster, she met one of his students who was in a wheelchair.

The girl told Sousa that in middle school a teacher would give other students extra credit for helping her around, but once the extra credit stopped being given, the other students stopped talking to her.

“Maddi has always reached out to people, regardless of any situation,” Juster said. “She’s always been blind to any of that, and that’s one of her amazing qualities. It doesn’t matter who the person is, she’ll talk to them. She doesn’t look at someone and see a wheelchair first.  She doesn’t see someone who has trouble speaking, and doesn’t speak to them.”    

Sousa, inspired by Myranda Brodsky, made the decision as a freshman to shave her head.

Photo by Emily Schackart
Sousa, inspired by Myranda Brodsky, made the decision as a freshman to shave her head.

Sousa also recalled befriending a girl when she was in the 3rd grade who had a disability. At first, Sousa’s other friends questioned why she would hang out with the girl and why she would go do crafts with her during indoor recess instead of being with them.

“I told them that the crafts were wicked fun, and because she was my friend,” Sousa said. “She couldn’t hang out with us, so I wanted to hang out with her.”

From these experiences, Sousa formed her own cause to fight for. She decide she wanted to raise awareness to other students about exclusion and encourage them to diminishes the boundaries they put between one another that are based on appearance, behavior and social cliques.

“Don’t judge people by the way they look, because a lot of people are really nice,” Sousa said. “Too many people get scared and don’t want to talk to people based on their body language and how they look. There’s a lot of great people in this school, and I feel like everyone is missing out on each other.”   

Sousa hopes while she is out in public and at school, people will ask her about her shaved head.  

“When I shave my head, it’s not coming back for a really long time,” Sousa said. 

And because of that, she’ll have more time to spread her message and hopefully touch a multitude of people.

Sousa hopes that when out in public, people will ask her about her shaved head so she can continue to spread her message.

Photo by Emily Schackart
Sousa hopes that when out in public, people will ask her about her shaved head so she can continue to spread her message.

Shaving her head this winter means Sousa won’t be able to put her hair in an up-do at prom, she’ll have tremendously short hair in her graduation photos, and she’ll be entering into college without her long dark curls. But Sousa believes all these things are worth it in order to get her message across.

And Juster admires her for this.  He is proud of her for shaving off her “fabulous curls” for this cause.

“She could have just thought ‘Oh, I’m just gonna keep these’ and knock it out of the park with pictures and stuff at graduation,” Juster said. “But she decided ‘No, it’s not worth it to me to do that. I don’t want to leave school with curls and everything else and not make a mark and say something about this.'”   

If you would like more information about how you can donate eight inches of hair at the Day of Giving Assembly in January, see Mr. Juster in room 204.

 

   

 

    

       

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