Madison’s passion for helping others started at a very young age. After watching close family members struggle with mental health and addiction, Madison decided she wanted to pursue a career where she could be of support to others also facing these challenges. She graduated from Parkland Secondary School in North Saanich, British Columbia, and after taking two years off school to work and save money for her future education, she applied for the Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) program at Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. Madison is currently enrolled in her second semester of the MHA program at Camosun. Her schooling thus far has taught her more than she could have ever imagined, and she will forever be grateful for this program and the amazing faculty. Madison is so excited about her future career and is hoping to further her education after completing her certificate. Madison was born and raised in Victoria, and feels very fortunate to be able to one day give back to her community here on the lower island.
University of Georgia
Josh Williams is currently a third-year student at the University of Georgia triple majoring in Philosophy, Comparative Literature, and Women’s Studies. Born in Georgia to Nigerian parents and raised by his mother, Josh is a first-generation student whose passion for social justice and cross-cultural understanding has guided his academic interests. Josh discovered his love for philosophy and literature early as a high school student and had yearned to take on this discipline as a college undergrad ever since. After completing his undergraduate degree, he intends on pursuing a master’s degree in Rhetorical Studies to examine media created by communities of color and hopes to also obtain a PhD in the future. Coming from a low-income community of color himself, he hopes to shed light on people of underprivileged backgrounds through research. He has worked with numerous organizations on campus to provide a safe space for students in need. In his spare time, he enjoys making music, cooking, and playing video games. Josh is also an avid tennis player and loves watching his favorite player Roger Federer play.
Students were asked to write an essay detailing what text they message they would send to their younger selves during a tough time, what it would say, and why. This year we received nearly 2,000 submissions from students in the U.S. and in Canada. Though it was difficult to choose only one winner, there were two submissions that stood out from the rest. Madison and Josh will both receive $1,000 to put towards their college expenses for the essays they submitted.