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Inspired By Siblings, Youth Of The Month Is Passionate About Giving Back

By Special To The Message
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Meet the Schulz siblings " Sam, left, Sadie, Simon and Sophie. Submitted photo

Complain less. Smile more. Find the good in every situation.

These ideas are not complex, but they can be easily forgotten or pushed aside, especially when life gets busy, stressful or hard. Even on those days, though, Sadie Schulz remembers. She is Youth Resources’ Youth of the Month for September.

She’s reminded every time she sees her brother, Sam, tie his shoes; or her sister, Sophie, open her locker. She’s reminded when her siblings miss out on simple joys like playing football or driving to school. She’s reminded when Sam and Sophie choose to push away their pain and focus on their happiness instead.

So, Sadie complains less and smiles more. She finds the good in every situation. 

Sadie is the second of four children. A 16-year-old sophomore at Reitz Memorial High School (her birthday was September 21), she’s involved in more than a dozen activities – cheerleading, tennis, student council, Riley Dance Marathon, TEENPOWER Club, Snowflake, Key Club, parish volunteering. The list goes on. But at the top of it is her involvement with the EB Walk.

Sadie’s older sister, Sophie, a senior at Memorial, and younger brother, Sam, an eighth-grader at Holy Rosary Catholic School, have a disease called epidermolysis bullosa (EB). It makes their skin fragile and highly susceptible to painful blisters. While neither she nor her brother Simon, a sixth-grader at Holy Rosary, are physically affected by EB, Sadie sees its effects on Sam, Sophie and her family daily.  

“Something I would like for people to know about my siblings is the pure strength they posses. Although they are not physically strong, emotionally and spiritually they are the strongest people I know,” Sadie said. “My siblings are the reason I am who I am today. They are my constant support system, and the number one thing on my mind in every situation. They give my outlook on life a new perspective.”

Because of that perspective, Sadie does her best to lead and help others in any way that she can. “I know if one of my siblings were to ask someone for help, I would want them to respond in the same way I have.”  Sadie’s ability to lift up the people around her, especially her siblings, inspired Sophie to nominate her younger sister for Youth Resources’ September Youth of the Month award.

“She makes you feel like the most special person in the world. Even if she's having a bad day, she would do anything to make someone else's day better. She has such a huge heart filled with kindness, thoughtfulness, concern for others, and so much love,” explained Sophie.  

Memorial cheerleading coach Crunchy Wells calls Sadie, her JV captain, the “most coachable cheerleader” she’s ever worked with and “one of the finest young ladies” she’s ever known, a team member and leader who understands the importance of compassion and humility. “Sadie brings a spirit of joy and positivity every day to every event.  She lets everyone know that she believes in their potential and is the first to make everyone feel included,” Wells said. “The entire team lights up when Sadie shows up!  Her love and passion are contagious.”   

Sadie will once again channel that love and passion when she heads to Memorial’s track on Oct. 21 for the EB Walk, now in its fifth year. She is a committee chair for the one-mile walk to support her brother and sister and raise awareness about EB. Sadie encourages everyone to join the Schulz family at the starting line at 3 p.m. The cost to walk is $7.

“To anyone that may see this that has a disability, I would like for them to know that they are beautiful, they are important, they are special, and that they are so much more than whatever disability they may have,” Sadie said.

Those are more than just encouraging words. Sadie Schulz backs them up by the way she treats others every day. And that makes her big sister incredibly grateful. “There aren't enough words in the world to describe how much I am proud of, admire, and love Sadie. I genuinely believe she is my guardian angel sent to me here on Earth… I have no idea what I would do without her.”

One thing we can all do? Follow Sadie’s lead. Complain less. Smile more. And find the good in every situation.

As YR’s September Youth of the Month, Sadie becomes a Youth of the Year nominee. Youth Resources will name its Youth of the Year at its annual Hall of Fame Celebration in April.

About Youth Resources – Since 1987, Youth Resources has involved more than 150,000 young people in local community service projects while training them to be stronger leaders and inspiring them to be lifelong volunteers. YR’s Teen Advisory Council, TEENPOWER, Vanderburgh County Teen Court and Make a Difference Grants are unique, evidence-based programs that impact regional youth ages 5-18. Learn more about Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana at youth-resources.org.