Madison Teodo had a lot on her plate before she became a member of the Tournament of Roses Royal Court last month.
The La Cañada High School senior is captain of the Spartans varsity volleyball team. She volunteers at Verdugo Hills Hospital and with the African human rights group Invisible Children. Last year, she won a Girl Scouts Gold Award after collecting pool supplies with her local church and donating them to the Good Shepard Shelter for Battered Women and Children in Los Angeles.
Yet she has known for a while that come the fall of 2012, she would enter the competition to become one of the seven young women to represent the Tournament of Roses in a string of more than 150 appearances, culminating in the 2013 Rose Parade.
“Both my sisters had tried out, so it was kind of something we did,” Madison said during an interview at her La Cañada home. “I never imagined in a million years that I would make it. I thought it was something fun I could do … learn some good interview skills.”
Cinda Teodo, mother of Megan, 25, Molly, 21, and Madison, 18, said it was inevitable that her youngest would audition for the Royal Court.
“It's almost a rite of passage in this community,” Cinda Teodo said. “It's something that all the girls look forward to at La Cañada High School and all the high schools in this area.”
The 2013 Royal Court has made roughly 30 appearances so far, visiting hospitals and other groups.
Madison said a memorable moment came during the stop at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where she met some of the youngsters receiving treatment for debilitating diseases.
“I really love working with kids. That's what I want to do with my future,” said Madison, who hopes to become a teacher specializing in speech therapy. “It's a really happy place, and we got to hand out books to all the little kids. Seeing their happy faces was really fun.”
Teodo said the pace of the Royal Court is frantic, but working alongside Rose Queen Vanessa Manjarrez and the princesses makes it easier.
“It's definitely hard with school and college applications, but it's nice because you're not alone,” Madison said. “There are six other people who are in the same boat as you are.”
Madison's father, Mark Teodo, credits the discipline of the Tournament of Roses operation for keeping the schedule manageable.
“I'm not going to say that the house is in kind of turmoil, but anyone with teenage kids where both parents work [will know] that your life's already crazy,” Teodo said. “The Tournament of Roses has been so great. They are so well organized. They let us know what's going on, what's coming up … I'm convinced they should run the country.”
While Madison was only selected to the Royal Court last month, the 2013 Rose Parade will be her second.
Last year she, alongside fellow member of the 2013 Royal Court Sonia Shenoi, marched with the Girl Scouts after being honored for their efforts on behalf of the battered women's shelter. This year, she'll ride the route in style, on the Tournament of Roses float.
“I'm excited to be in the parade again,” Teodo said. “It's nice not to have to walk five miles.”