Madison Hungerford, a junior from Durant High school (pictured second from left,) was honored at the Dr. Sylvia Richardson Young Women of Promise luncheon in April. She is pictured with her father, sister and mother.

Madison Hungerford, a student at Durant High School was one of 10 Hillsborough County high-school juniors honored by Athena Society as one of the 2018 “Dr. Sylvia Richardson Young Women of Promise.” A luncheon was held to honor the recipients on Thursday, April 5 at the Centre Club in Tampa where the young women received a $5,000 scholarship divided equally amongst them. The winners were selected by an Athena committee from nominations submitted by guidance counselors from public and private high schools throughout the County. 

Founded in 1976 to support passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, the Athena Society is an organization of Tampa Bay professional women who have demonstrated leadership in the community and committed themselves to promote equality and opportunity for women. The late Sylvia Richardson, a physician educator and Athena member, was a longtime chairman of the awards and was responsible for nurturing the program and promoting the advantages it brings to young women in advancing education in their fields of interest.

Hungerford was surprised and honored to be chosen for such a prestigious award. According to her mother, Frankie Hungerford, “Madison is fortunate to have an incredible guidance counselor, Mrs. Jama Hoffman, who nominated her,” said Mrs. Hungerford. “We appreciate the fact that she understood what obstacles Madison has had to overcome as a military child to become the amazing young woman she is today.“

Hungerford’s father served in the military for 30 years and recently retired to the Valrico area. Her father now works for GDIT and her mother is a stay-at-home mom who volunteers for countless organizations including Family Readiness for military families. Hungerford has two sisters, ages 28 and 21.

Currently, Hungerford has a 5.45-weighted GPA and is in the top five percent of her class. She was treasurer and vice-president of Future Business Leaders of America and secretary of Marine Science Club. She is the community relations officer for Junior Council, as well her freshman and sophomore years. In addition, she is the social media coordinator for National English Honor Society, a member of Future Business Leaders of America and National Honor Society. She is also on Durant’s varsity swim and tennis teams.

During her speech at the awards ceremony, Hungerford spoke of being born into a military family two weeks prior to 9-11 and the impact this single event had throughout the course of her life. During a post 9-11 world, Hungerford’s father was deployed to Afghanistan. Some of her greatest accomplishments were adjusting to military life that included multiple moves, changes and challenges, as well as overcoming bullying.

Hungerford expressed what was most important to her, “Never let anyone get you down,” said Hungerford. “Take responsibility for your life and live it to the fullest extent possible by exploiting every ounce of your God-given talent.”

After graduation, Hungerford plans to attend a University here in Florida on a full bright futures scholarship and study Aerospace Engineering.

“Needless to say, we couldn’t be more proud of her,” said Mrs. Hungerford.

For more information about the Athena Society, visit

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.