PRINCETON — Last summer, Second Story Teen Center partnered with the Bureau County Fair to put on a talent show for local teens.
The winner of that show was Maddie Leopold, 15, of Princeton who sang Lauren Daigle’s “Once And For All.”
It was an exciting moment for Leopold, who discovered her singing voice just in the past three years.
With her win, she qualified to compete in the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs talent competition in Springfield on Jan. 19.
Leopold is busy preparing for the competition that will bring together 22 other performers from around the state. The winners will be invited to perform at this summer’s Illinois State Fair.
Leopold’s parents, Tom and Delinda, are very excited for their daughter and are her biggest supporters when it comes to her singing.
“I think it’s been a release, an outlet for her,” Delinda said.
Leopold said singing has helped her cope with the things that upset her or stress her out. She said on bad days, she cranks up the music and sings, which helps her to “grow, get better and find myself.”
Singing competitions are nothing new for Leopold. She’s gotten to sing all over the U.S. through competitions affiliated with The People Church in Princeton and Assemblies of God.
Jeff and Dana Van Autreve, owners of Second Story Teen Center, are also members of Leopold’s support team.
“We are so proud of Maddie and her talent, her hard work and perseverance, and mostly, her story. We enjoyed her singing in her younger years, and knew then that something special was happening in her life. She is an inspiration to her peers, and we are thankful she was a part of our talent night at the Bureau County Fairgrounds,” Jeff Van Autreve said.
Second Story Teen Center plans to partner again with the Bureau County Fair to put on its second annual talent show Aug. 21.