WILTON — As it marks the 20th anniversary of the Melissa McFadden Scholarship, the Wilton Family YMCA recognized two students — Maden Herve and Nicole Saxon.

Each year the YMCA, in collaboration with Jack and Deborah McFadden, recognize Wilton High School graduating seniors as a way of celebrating the life and achievements of their daughter Melissa. The scholarship is presented to individuals who have demonstrated compassion, dedication, and a desire to improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and physical challenges. Many of the past recipients have gone on to pursue careers in education or other areas supporting people with special needs.

Both Maden and Nicole were not only actively involved in organizations and activities supporting young people with disabilities, they also had close relationships and were engaged with friends or relatives with similar challenges.

Nicole has spent summers at Wilton Family YMCA Camp Gordyland and worked in the Y’s afterschool program as a paraprofessional. She will attend Bryant University.

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Maden has coached the Wilton Family YMCA’s Special Olympic Track and Field team, as well as coordinating the Y’s Basketball Outreach (BOP) and their Friends and Buddies programs throughout the school year. He will attend Cornell University.

“The review committee was so moved by these amazing students,” said Robert McDowell, CEO of the Riverbrook Regional YMCA. “We are thrilled to be able to award Maden and Nicole with these scholarships. They are leaders in our community serving those with special needs and creating an inclusive community so everyone can have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. We know these students will continue to make a difference in their college communities and beyond.”