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Madison Daraklis

2335

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

Bio

My life's goal is to destigmatize mental health issues and mental illness. I want to be on the frontlines of research regarding personality and dissociative disorders and to work with others to develop better tests and treatments for these often overlooked illnesses. Aside from this, I love working with people in general. I've been a tutor, taught toddlers how to ice skate, and most recently I have been coaching people in axe throwing.

Education

Westminster College (PA)

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Mathematics
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology
  • GPA:
    4

Williamstown High School

High School
2017 - 2021
  • GPA:
    4

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Research

    • Dream career goals:

      Senior Specialist

    • Residence Assistant

      Westminster College
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Axe Throwing Coach and Receptionist

      Primitive Axe LLC
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Volunteer Coach for Toddlers

      Holly Dell Ice Skating
      2020 – 20211 year

    Sports

    Figure Skating

    Club
    2018 – Present6 years

    Arts

    • Williamstown High School

      Visual Arts
      2018 – 2021

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      Disability Awareness Club — Treasurer
      2021 – Present
    • Advocacy

      Williamstown High School DECA — Program Founder and Speaker
      2019 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Pride in Diversity Scholarship
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    According to Bessel Van der Kolk- help them. The more we get people access to communities and therapy, the more likely they are to overcome mental illness and rejoin families and society. An easy solution to this? Open more YMCA's instead of psychiatric clinics. Medication is helpful and incredible, but it is not a cure-all. If it was, there wouldn't be millions of mentally ill people, would there? This isn't to stay that medication isn't helpful, but a bigger component of healing is therapy, and one increasingly important step in therapy is learning to exist with the rhythm of others. My focus in research is on trauma, and one thing that we are learning is a monumental part of trauma is that people's brains lose the wiring necessary to "tune in" to other people. They struggle to read other's emotions and feel safe in company other than their own. But, with simple tasks, we can rebuild this wiring. In children, actions as simple as pushing a ball back and forth can help bring out conversation. We learn to get into a rhythm with others and begin to feel safer and more connected. The adult version of this is the same. Creating community centers that allow human interaction can be paramount in healing, because it allows people to get back into the flow of humanity. Dancing, pushing a ball back and forth, swimming, and listening to music with others can increase this sense of togetherness and start the process of healing from trauma, especially trauma caused by other humans. So, one practical, science-based solution for helping people who struggle with mental illness? Rebuilding community and human connections that feel safe and natural.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    My childhood was wild, to say the least. So wild, in fact, that I have complex PTSD and multiple personalities. I see the world, every problem I encounter, every challenge I face, through multiple lenses. I see them through the me that is scared, the me that is brave, the me that is logical, and they rarely coalesce into one strict pattern of thinking, or what most would call a personality. I used to be afraid anyone would find out about what was going on in my head at any given moment. I saw therapists for years and never once mentioned what I was experiencing for fear that I would be locked away in an institution or that they simply wouldn't believe me. It wasn't until I learned that I wasn't alone in my experience that I finally opened up to a therapist about my life, and how heavily all of my relationships and goals were impacted by it. To this day, I dissociate whenever I to talk to men. I can't form close relationships with anyone because I barely know who I am. My identity shifts like the tides during a storm, sometimes I feel like I'm Madison, and that I'm 19 years old and in college. Other times I couldn't tell you what my name is, or even my age or gender, because what my body is is not what my consciousness is. I used to not want to deal with any of this. I wanted to quietly slip away into some mind-numbing desk job where I didn't need a personality, where I could pretend to be whoever others needed in that moment. But after seeing first hand in a psychology class how little the average educated psychologist really knows about trauma and traumatized brains, I found my calling in research psychology and therapy. I *need* to revolutionize how we view mentally ill people. I *need* the average psychologist's education to include trauma-informed learning and compassion, or else my own world, and the worlds of millions of others, will never get better, and we will continue to be afraid to reach out to anyone for help. Until kindness is common knowledge and enough research has been done to prove what trauma can do to people, especially children, my work is not complete. Until psychiatrists see "unruly" children and look at them through the lens of trauma and immediately think of how to help them, instead of diagnose them, my work is not complete. My world is viewed through my trauma, and I have a long road ahead of me until I am able rebuild my lens and see things through one whole lens instead of several broken ones. And to do that, I need to learn as much as humanly possible about people's brains, how thoughts happen, how trauma impacts thinking, and how to convey to the world that a mentally ill person does not have to be a scary or dangerous person. That's why I am applying to this scholarship. Because I want to change the world.