TIP Teen Program
TIP of NW Florida currently has 4 active TIP teens, ages 14-18. Our teen volunteers undergo the same stringent training and screening, and perform the same duties as all active TIP volunteers nationwide. In addition to providing valuable service to citizens in crisis in our community, teens also earn hours for Bright Futures scholarships. TIP training not only prepares our volunteers to deal effectively with victims during traumatic events, but also provides essential skills in dealing with everyday events that occur in our own lives. We are so proud of our teens for understanding at such a young age the importance of helping others. If you are interested in becoming a TIP teen volunteer, please contact us. In addition to answering your questions, we can connect you with our other teen volunteers and let you hear of their rewarding experiences first hand! Call (850)934-6654 or email us using the contact us form.
Spotlight on TIP Teen Madison Drake
In January 2013, TIP founder Wayne Fortin traveled to visit our local NW Florida TIP chapter. There, he met TIP Teen 13 year old Madison Drake. Madison is most likely the youngest TIP Volunteer in the country. Because of her age she had to receive special approval to be a volunteer. Madison responds to TIP Calls with her father, TIP Volunteer Charlie Batson. She impressed Wayne with her maturity and with her willingness to do such challenging volunteer work at such a young age. Wayne interviewed her for this profile.
Wayne Fortin: "How long have you been a TIP Teen?"
Madison Drake: "Since September 2012. I have been on 3 TIP Calls."
Wayne Fortin: "How is it working with your father on TIP Calls?”
Madison Drake: "Working with my Dad on calls helps a lot. He teaches me so much. He does step out for a minute every once in a while to let me do my part and learn how to deal with this sort of thing without having someone back me up at all times."
Wayne Fortin: "How do you use your TIP skills in other areas of your life?"
Madison Drake: “I am able to use my TIP skills in everyday life with helping my friends when there is something they may be going through. For example, I was able to help a friend after a friend of hers committed suicide."
Wayne Fortin: "What do your friends think about your being a TIP Volunteer?"
Madison Drake: "My friends think that it's great that I am a TIP Volunteer. Many of them have told me that they would like to be part of TIP and volunteer as well."
Wayne Fortin: "Do clients accept you on calls or are they taken aback by your young age?"
Madison Drake: "On all 3 TIP Calls I've been on the clients were amazed that I am so young and I'm involved in something like this. They all treated me the same as my Dad, and they were open to me. My Dad said that being so young brings a sense of calmness to the scene."
Wayne Fortin: "What do you do for fun?"
Madison Drake: "I like to stay active with swimming and Taekwondo. I have done both for 9 years. In the past I have done other things such as dance, cheerleading and gymnastics. I am currently a first degree level 3 black belt and a 4 year swimmer with my school team. Besides sports, I like to spend time with my friends, most times at their sporting events cheering them on."
Wayne Fortin: "What strong interests do you have beyond school and TIP?"
Madison Drake: "Besides sports I enjoy cooking and baking. I work hard at keeping my grades up and I scored in the top 5% in the State of Florida on my math FCAT grades.”
Wayne Fortin: "Do you expect to be a TIP Volunteer for a long time?"
Madison Drake: "Yes, I have always enjoyed giving back in any way I can. Before TIP I did lemonade stands and sold art to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation."
Wayne Fortin: "Do you have career goals yet?"
Madison Drake: "I have always wanted to be part of the military (inspired from my Daddy), and I have always wanted to be a doctor. I am thinking about being a doctor for the Marines. If that doesn't work out, I can always be a doctor outside of the military."
Wayne Fortin: "Do you have any suggestions about how TIP can recruit young persons like you into TIP?"
Madison Drake: "I think TIP can get involved in Red Cross clubs in high schools or have separate TIP volunteer clubs in schools. TIP volunteers should speak at high schools. Maybe other people like me will want to volunteer and help out."
Wayne Fortin: "How would you describe TIP in one word?"
Madison Drake: "AMAZING. I chose amazing because I see the great difference regular people can make to someone that has gone through something very tragic."
Wayne Fortin: "In one word how would you describe yourself?"
Madison Drake: "COMPASSIONATE. Because I have always wanted other people to be happy and have always wanted to help with anything I can. If that means I am putting myself on the back burner for a little bit, that to me is better than passing up an opportunity for me to help and give back."