Madison is excited to join the Great Rivers United Way team as the Community Engagement Coordinator. Her role at Great Rivers United Way will include recruiting and managing volunteers for Read to Success, coordinating Poverty Simulations and sparks! early childhood collaborative, and organizing focus groups for the COMPASS Now community needs assessment.
Previously, she taught computer classes in the Twin Cities as a member of the Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) AmeriCorps program. During her AmeriCorps service she certified 300+ community members in essential computer skills and helped over 80 find employment. She comes to United Way with experience in social science survey research, nonprofit program coordination, and crisis-intervention.
Madison hails from rural northern Illinois where she grew up with her sisters. She graduated with a B.A in Spanish and Anthropology from Augustana College and worked in library special collections during undergraduate. She loves to travel and hopes to see more of the western United States in the near future. Madison just relocated to La Crosse, WI, and hopes to experience all the sights and sounds of her new community soon!
15 fun questions for Madison
- What are you most excited about in your new position? I’m able to expand on many of my areas of interest and experience: community programming, lifelong education, research, building empathy! I’m excited to dive in to each of these and learn a lot about the Great Rivers region.
- Favorite color? Blues and greens—anything that reminds me of the water.
- What three adjectives best describe you? Open-minded, dedicated, and self-starter.
- Least favorite household chore? I hate cleaning the dust off ceiling fan blades. Have you ever done this? No? Look at your fan blades. I guarantee they’re scary.
- Favorite movie? “Nebraska”
- Favorite memory? I drove 300 miles to surprise my mom at her 50th birthday party last summer. She had no idea I was coming and was so happy to see me. I spent the weekend with her and the rest of our family enjoying bonfires and s’mores and all things lovely and summery.
- Favorite recreational activity(ies)? Spending time in the great outdoors, reading something new and riveting, sampling craft beer with friends.
- Genre of music? I love folk music or any “music of the people” like Guajira, Americana, and Andean.
- Most likely to order on a menu? Something spicy or vegetarian.
- Favorite book? Two-way tie between “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West” by Dee Brown or “We Should All Be Feminists” which was adapted from a TEDx talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
- Role model? Doctora Araceli Masterson-Algar and Shay Woods. The former was my Spanish advisor; the latter is a much-respected community organizer in Saint Paul, MN.
- Favorite place to visit? Decorah, Iowa. It is located in the Driftless Area of the Midwest, and the geography is stunning.
- Guilty pleasure? Dairy-free ice cream. It’s so expensive and anytime I buy this it feels like a treat!
- Memorable moment in the new job thus far? Setting up a Born Learning Trail for a recent community event. I used chalk to make a hopscotch activity and helped set up family-friendly educational activities for community members!
- Favorite thing about our community? Everyone has been very welcoming. I’ve already explored the riverfront walking paths, bike trails, and a few restaurants. I am really looking forward meeting new people and getting involved.