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Madison Downs

1985

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

I have been in Catholic schools my whole life. I have been a student athlete and on the National Honors Society all four years in high school. I want to continue my education studying business and sports marketing. I am currently going to continue my Catholic education at Saint Mary's of Notre Dame. I want to continue my love for sports and encourage student athletes to work hard at practice but most importantly work hard in school. I think that I am a great candidate for this field because I am a prime example of how health issues can limit your reality but they can not crush your dreams. I want to show student athletes that there is more to sports than just playing the game. I plan to get my business degree in marketing and work with the local high school student athletes in my community.

Education

Bishop Noll Institute

High School
2019 - 2023

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
    • Business/Managerial Economics
    • Business/Commerce, General
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness
    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
    • Journalism
    • Business/Corporate Communications
    • Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management
    • Educational/Instructional Media Design
    • Computer Software and Media Applications
    • Communication, General
    • Radio, Television, and Digital Communication
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Sports

    • Dream career goals:

      I want to work in marketing with student athletes.

    • Assistant coach / Statistician

      St. Mary Athletics
      2019 – Present5 years

    Sports

    Volleyball

    Varsity
    2019 – 20223 years

    Basketball

    Varsity
    2019 – 20234 years

    Awards

    • Best Mental Attitude

    Arts

    • St. Mary Catholic School

      Religious Art
      2014 – 2019

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      East Chicago Police Dept. — assistant
      2019 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      St. Mary Athletics — Peer Mentor
      2019 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Derk Golden Memorial Scholarship
    In my opinion, sports play a crucial role in a student’s life. Sports set a foundation for organization, discipline, and respect. Being a student-athlete is no easy task. I have found that sports have centered me and my ability to be a successful student. When I was younger, I committed to being a student-athlete. I wanted to be the best at volleyball and basketball. I participated in many camps and extra training to try to earn the top spots on the team. Unfortunately, it was when I was in 8th grade that I found out I had to have back surgery for scoliosis. My surgery was during spring break. Initially, I was supposed to miss 6-8 weeks of school and 6 months to a year of sports. At the very beginning, I told myself that I was going to do whatever it takes to get back sooner than that. After my surgery, I made sure to push myself to the very limit. I worked hard at therapy and even harder on my studies. In my downtime, I watched a lot of films on volleyball and basketball. I was not going to let my surgery stop me from getting back on the court. I thankfully was back on the volleyball court and playing in my first game 4 months later. Following volleyball season, I started up basketball. I realized I was a little slower and it was going to take a lot of practice to get back to where I once was. As my sophomore and junior seasons went on, I quickly started realizing that I needed to listen to my body. I was in pain a lot of from all the jumping in volleyball. During my senior season, I made the decision that I could no longer do volleyball. Even though it was my number one passion, my back simply could no longer take the pain. At this time, I decided that I could still be beneficial to the team. I had watched countless hours of drills, games, and studied film. I was able to help coach and be their support to my friends and teammates. I was still able to play basketball and made sure to work hard the whole senior year. I looked at my senior year much differently than others. I knew I could not take for granted the time I was able to be on the court. I learned that although I needed to listen to my body and not play volleyball, I could still be an asset to the team. The most valuable life lesson that sports have taught me is that not everything always goes your way. When you are little you plan to be the best athlete and one day go pro. However, there are always unforeseen circumstances. As a student-athlete, it is hard to prepare for the unexpected. I have found that by maintaining good mental health, I was able to focus my energy on a different path. My new dream is to help student-athletes that also have setbacks and make sure that they have good mental health. Hopefully, they can continue their dreams but if not I want to help them find a new path.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    My vision is to help student-athletes overcome setbacks and maintain a healthy mental status as they develop into their adult versions of themselves.
    Mental Health Importance Scholarship
    I believe that mental health is extremely important to everyone especially students. I have made sure over the years to make sure that I am creating time to manage my mental health. I believe that students that have good mental health can have a positive social atmosphere that helps them not only grow as a person but as a student. Having good mental health can make you thrive as a person. I have had to find strength in my mental health during a very hard time in my life. When I was in 8th grade I had to have back surgery that kept me out of school, away from my sports, and away from my friends for many weeks. Thankfully I was able to have the love and support of my family and friends to help me through this process. Before my surgery, I told myself that I was going to work hard and make sure that I always worked hard on my school work at home. I also worked hard on my recovery. I pushed myself to every limit but listened to my body to make sure that I did not overdo it. I knew that missing my friends at school was going to take a toll on me. I was very thankful for my mother and friends. Together they organized where one of my friends came over almost every day to visit me. My friends helped me with my homework and most importantly my sanity. I made sure my mental health was as much of a priority as my recovery to get better. I had major scoliosis surgery and was in a lot of pain. I was on a heavy amount of pain medication. I was very conscious about how much medication I was taking and taking it only when I needed it. The link between opioids and depression was a dark path I wanted to make sure I never fell down. During my recovery, I implemented some useful tips and tools that could help me keep my mental health on track. I have used these strategies ever since. I found that just talking about what I was feeling out loud was helpful. There are times when I wanted to be more private so I stood in the mirror and talked to myself. The act of just getting it off my chest and saying aloud was really helpful. I also started journaling. I use this tool most often. My journal notes are sometimes actual sentences and other times they are just doodles. I know that keeping good mental health is extremely important. Most students feel they take on too much and are afraid to talk about it. I, however, learned very young to make it a priority. I have been blessed to have supportive family and friends. Now as I move forward, I make sure to be that friend when need who listens.
    Glenda W. Brennan "Good Works" Memorial Scholarship
    I have been giving back to my community for many years. I have attended Catholic Schools my whole life and part of our education is how we can give back to our community. I have participated in many events over the years. I have done food drives, coat drives, and soup kitchens. However, one of my favorite volunteer events that I was a part of was The Shop with a Cop event. During the Shop with a Cop event, I have the opportunity to help many children from the community. My father is a police officer for the county and he helps organize these events every year. One of the themes is the back-to-school event. We have taken children and shopped with them while they are getting their supplies. It is really rewarding to see how excited the kids get when they are picking out their backpacks and lunch boxes. I particularly like shopping with the younger kids and seeing all the new cartoons they are interested in. I also really enjoy participating in my church events. My church offers different opportunities to do volunteer work. I have been an altar server for many years. I love giving back to the church and showing other children that they too can give back to the church. Some of the other events that I help with are food kitchens, coat drives, canned food drives, and thanksgiving basket drives. As I get into my college career, I plan to continue to find opportunities to give back to the community. I want to continue to work with children from all over the country and help them get the things they need. I have realized that many times kids do not have the appropriate things that they need to do the extracurricular things they want to do. Having kids participate in extracurricular activities teaches them a lot of organizational skills, self-discipline, and overall good social bonding skills. Holding kids accountable and teaching them these basic skills when they are having fun is very rewarding. I have been a student-athlete and a lot of times we forget about the student portion. I also want to use my experience to help students remember that they are a student before they are an athlete. I want to help enforce the importance of what an education can get you. I want students to know that no one can ever take their education away from them.
    Justin Moeller Memorial Scholarship
    I am from a very rural area. I have attended Catholic schools my whole life. I come from a very diverse school system. I have been very involved in my church community by volunteering for countless community events and being an altar server. I have been a student-athlete since the 8th grade all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. I have been a member of the National Honors Society for the last two years and it has also given me plenty of opportunities to give back to the community. When I think about technology I find it very interesting how new advances are affecting the medical field. I had a very extensive back surgery when I was in the 8th grade. I was diagnosed with scoliosis and the only way to fix my back was with titanium rods and screws. Due to the latest technology, this very grueling surgery now has a recovery time of only a few months compared to the year timeline it use to be. Before my surgery, I was doing what any teen would do. I was YouTubing the surgery and trying to find as much information as possible. Needless to say that all went out the window because the most recent technology was not on those sites. I truly believe that it is amazing in a short amount of time that technology advanced and was able to give me a better health option. I am very thankful for the advances in technology. The advances in this procedure are the reason I was able to go back to school so quickly. I was also able to go back to playing the sports that I love. I am a four-year varsity student-athlete in both volleyball and basketball. I have been lucky to be able to help other student-athletes and tutor them in their studies. I believe in teamwork on and off the court. Lastly, I am also part of a biomedical class that uses technology to investigate other health-related issues that may arise. Through this class and the technology in our school as we can simulate patients and crime scenes. We can try and use all the skills that we are learning to solve cases, understand the body, and develop our level of education. I am thankful that I get to use technology daily to continue my education. My school has this class in our new stem lab where we can also use 3D printing.
    Captain Clay Layne Memorial C.O.L.E Scholarship
    Being a child of someone who is in law enforcement is not easy. The misconception about police officers sometimes can way heavy on a child. I have always used my father as an example to my peers. I have seen my dad go out to help the community when the country was in an uproar. Through all this experience I have learned to take nothing for granted. Tomorrow is not promised. We have to make sure that we are always doing the best that we can in everything that we do. I learned that I need to work hard and be focused through the good times and the bad. Most importantly I learned that my father is not only protecting me but he is protecting the community we live in. I have learned to always trust in God that he is going to take care of my father and bring him home at night. While my dad has been a police officer, I have had the opportunity to give back through the many organizations that he is a part of. I have participated in events such as Shop with a Cop. This event that I have helped with for the last 6 years has provided children in the community with the essentials that they need. This event happens every year at Christmas time. I have also been a part of the back-to-school drives and thanksgiving drives that the department puts on. Giving back to the community is something that I plan to always do. I have overcome a big obstacle in my life. I was diagnosed with scoliosis in the 8th grade. After a very rough surgery, I defied all the odds. I was back playing volleyball and basketball after only 2 months. My initial timeline was 6 months to a year. I had a clear mindset and told myself that I was going to do whatever it took to get on the court as soon as possible. With that mindset, I did what I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do it. I always worked hard and never gave up. I did all this while maintaining straight A's. Although I had dreams of one day playing in college, the reality is my back can not handle to pain that it takes to play the game that I love. I plan to use my love for the game and help future student-athletes reach their dreams. If for whatever reason they too experience a set back, I want to be there for them pushing them to get better.
    Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
    In eighth grade, I had to have scoliosis surgery. The doctors told me that it was going to be a six-month to a year timeline for my recovery. They stated that I would not be able to go to school for 6 to 8 weeks and that I would have to miss all physical activity for a year. Right before I was going to have surgery, I sat in my room one day and made a promise to myself that I would do whatever it takes to shorten the timeline for my recovery. At that time, I decided I was going to do what the doctors told me to do when the doctors told me to do it. On the very first day of my physical therapy, I pushed myself to the best of my ability. I maintained that desire to continue to work hard, and do my best. I had missed one week of school and felt myself starting to get lonely and develop anxiety about missing in-person learning. At my doctor’s appointment, I expressed how I needed to be in school and how I felt that I could sit in class with the other students. The biggest concern my doctor had was that the other students would be too rough around me. Once my teacher, my mom, and my doctor were on the same page, I was able to come back to school three weeks earlier than the initial timeline. At my physical therapy appointment, I continued to push hard and work harder. In the end, this worked because I was now able to go back two months after my initial surgery. The doctors were very impressed with my recovery and my ambition to get better. They said I had a great mental attitude throughout my entire process. As I became a freshman, I joined the volleyball and basketball team and succeeded very well. Sophomore and junior years, I started noticing that my back was starting to hurt more in volleyball than in basketball. It was always my dream to play college volleyball. However, the reality was that my surgery was impacting my ability to play. In my senior year, I made the tough decision to only play basketball, as volleyball was no longer worth the pain. As devastated as I was, I had to put my health first. Now that I am about to be entering college, I realize that as a little girl, you have dreams that can get crushed. The fact of the matter is, you can change your dreams. My new dream and college goal is to work with athletes. I want to be able to help direct student-athletes in a direction if their initial plan does not play out. I want to show athletes that there is more to playing the game. You can still be a part of the team even if you’re not playing. There are many aspects when it comes to being a student-athlete and unfortunately, we always focus on winning the game. What we do not focus on is winning outside of the game. I consider my situation a win. I had a successful surgery. I was able to come back to school and participate in sports way before I was initially expected to. I also was able to enjoy my team and experience being on that team. I also consider myself successful and winning because now I get the opportunity to help other student-athletes realize that. Although their initial plan may not go as expected, they still have other options.
    Skip Veeder Memorial Scholarship
    In seventh grade, I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis. After about a year of trying to slow it down, it was deemed that I was going to have to have surgery. The doctors told me that it was going to be a six-month to a year timeline for my recovery. They stated that I would not be able to go to school for 6 to 8 weeks and that I would have to miss all physical activity for a year. As you can imagine, I was not excited and was upset that I was going to have to miss so much time in school and with my teammates. After about 2 1/2 weeks, I made the decision that I needed to be back in school, and I needed to do whatever it took to get there. I spent the next few days, working, even harder at my physical therapy. At that doctor’s appointment, I expressed how I needed to be in school. My goal to decrease my timeline did not stop there. Next was my physical activity timeline. I wanted to be back out on the court with my team. Volleyball and basketball were super important to me and my teammates. At my physical therapy appointment, I continued to push hard and work harder. If I had the mindset that I was going to do what they told me to do and work even harder than they told me to work. In the end, this worked because I was now able to go back two months after my initial surgery. The doctors were very impressed with my recovery and my ambition to get better. They did tell me that a lot of the recovery is mental. They said I had a great mental attitude throughout my entire process. As I became a freshman, I joined the volleyball and basketball team and succeeded very well. Sophomore and junior years, I started noticing that my back was starting to hurt more in volleyball than in basketball. It was always my dream to play college volleyball. However, the reality was that my surgery was impacting my ability to play. In my senior year, I made the tough decision to only play basketball, as volleyball was no longer worth the pain. As devastated as I was, I had to put my health first. Now that I am about to be entering college, I realize that as a little girl, you have dreams that can get crushed. The fact of the matter is, you can change your dreams. My new dream and college goal is to work with athletes. I want to be able to help direct student-athletes in a direction if their initial plan does not play out. I want to show athletes that there is more to playing the game. You can still be a part of the team even if you’re not playing. There are many aspects when it comes to being a student-athlete and unfortunately, we always focus on winning of the game. What we do not focus on is winning outside of the game. I consider my situation a win. I had a successful surgery. I was able to come back to school and participate in sports way before I was initially expected to. I also was able to enjoy my team and experience being on that team. I also consider myself successful and winning because now I get the opportunity to help other student-athletes realize that. Although their initial plan may not go as expected, they still have other options.
    Maverick Grill and Saloon Scholarship
    I feel that I am unique in the sense that I had to undergo major back surgery in 8th grade. I was diagnosed with scoliosis and had to have two titanium rods put into my back. I have almost my entire back fused to keep my spine from collapsing. Although scoliosis is common, what makes my situation unique is my recovery timeline. Before surgery, I was told that it would be six months to a year before I could play sports after my surgery was completed. I however went into the surgery knowing that I was going to set my timeline. I made sure to have a clear mind and stay focused. I made a deal with myself that I would work hard all the time. Once the surgery was completed, I made sure to hold on to my promise. Instead of sitting around, I made sure to push myself as much as I could every day. I worked hard in school and physical therapy. I did what the doctors told me to do when they told me to do it. I did not let myself get down and I worked hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. After two months, I went back to have a follow-up appointment. The doctors and nurses were amazed at my progress. They had not seen someone so determined, working so hard to get back to where I once was. I left there with full clearance to go back to sports. I had done it. I met my goal. I was able to go back to volleyball that next weekend. I made sure to play it safe and still limited myself but I was back out there with my team. I plan to use my motivation to encourage other student-athletes to set goals on and off the court/field. When you are a student-athlete injuries tend to occur. A lot of times students' mental health is affected as sports is their whole life. I want to ba able to show student-athletes that they can still work hard even though they are sidelined due to an injury. I was to show them all the support I was once given. I think that too many times we are blinded by all the success that comes with winning. I want to show that there is still a success even when you are not hitting that game-winning shot.