Madeleine Hodgson

Daughter of Douglas and Elizabeth Ciesla Hodgson


Madeleine Hodgson is a junior at Dowling Catholic High School, in Des Moines, Iowa. Upon her 8th grade graduation from St. Pius the 10th Grammar School, she received the Optimist Club of Des Moines 2013 Youth Award. She has been on the Presidential Honor Roll all of her semesters at Dowling Catholic, and is active in several service clubs. Her involvement in the Best Buddies service club helps people with developmental disabilities; and the Helping Des Moines Community works on several acts of service around the area. She will be going to Guatemala this summer on a service trip to build a home for a deserving local family. She also represents Dowling Catholic as a Student Ambassador, which entails giving tours of the high school, and assisting at school events and activities. She ran Junior Varsity track, was a Junior Varsity Cheerleader, and participated in the Dowling Choir.

Madeleine is honored to continue the tradition of being a Debutante at the White and Red Ball, despite the distance, as she is the third generation debutante from her family - a first within the history of the White and Red Ball. Her grandmother, Maria Bronny Ciesla, debuted in 1966; her mother, Elizabeth Ciesla Hodgson, debuted in 1987; and her aunt, Alexandra Ciesla Cornwell, debuted in 1998. Her mother, grandmother and aunt are all Legion members; and after her Presentation, Madeleine will also join the Legion of Young Polish Women. Since her debut, her grandmother has been active within the Legion and several other Polish-American organizations in the Chicago area; her grandfather, Richard Ciesla, was and is also active in several Polish-American organizations.

Although there is no opportunity in the area where she lives to participate in Polish-American organizations or activities, Madeleine is very proud that her family and she uphold Polish traditions and culture. Her family and she were extremely excited to plan a June 2016 trip to Poland with her Ciesla grandparents. Her mother and grandparents have always been proud of their Polish heritage, and this trip showed Madeleine why they feel as they do. The country and its history, the people, and some family that they encountered and met on the trip were phenomenal, and Madeleine hopes to return several times to the country of her mother’s and one half of her heritage.