#GradyGrit: Meet Madison Drummond

Why did you choose Grady?

I loved the idea of getting an incredible education through an esteemed program right in my home state. I wanted a school that was the best of the best, but also one that was always working to stay at the top. I chose Grady because it would give me a professional edge. I am challenged and pushed to better myself personally and professionally every day here, and I love that.

What are you passionate about?

Education has always been close to my heart; rural education equity, higher education access, and the first year experience are all causes I have been affected by and care about deeply. I think all of my passions can be linked to the idea that everyone deserves a seat at the table, and that we should let people be an expert on their own lived experiences.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

First, I couldn’t do this without my family. They are my driving force and have been in my corner through it all. My campus community in the Center of Leadership and Service has enriched my college experience in unbelievable ways. Both Leadershape and Dawg Camp are housed in that office, and I have had incredible mentors who have poured into me and made me a better human. The space and the people there are my home on campus.

In addition, I serve as an ambassador for the UGA Mentor Program. This is UGA’s new, campus wide professional mentor program that allows students to pair with alumni and friends of the University for a semester long mentorship. I was a part of the pilot program last spring with the Career Center, and I have participated as a mentee ever since! I will be the first in my immediate family to graduate from college, so mentorship has been so important to me. I have been so lucky to be paired with incredible mentors who have helped me better understand my options and opportunities after I complete my degree. This program has given me so many opportunities as a student leader as well. It has been an incredible opportunity to build a program like this from the ground up.

What does Grady mean to you?

Grady means opportunity,  innovation and challenging the status quo. I love walking into the building and reading the quote above the door, “Democracy’s Next Generation.” It embodies how important the work in Grady is to not only the students who are doing it, but to the world around us. Grady means taking on the ethical and social responsibility of being both a strong student and a principled practitioner, because you are representing something so much bigger than yourself.

Drummond (back, center) with fellow summer 2019 Dawg Camp extended orientation counselors. (Photo: submitted)

What is the best or most rewarding part about being a Grady student?

The most rewarding part of being a Grady student is being able to see yourself develop throughout your time here. I think this goes beyond the development of knowledge in your subject area, and moves into how we develop as people, too. Grady has taught me to be more comfortable in my own skin, and to never be afraid to ask the hard questions.

What is the hardest part about being a Grady student?

Imposter syndrome! Grady is so full of talent, and we never see it in ourselves the way we see it in other people. I doubted myself and my abilities so many times; but, as I grew, I realized that everyone felt the same way I did. Through that, I leaned into the idea that I was not put here by accident, and that I was deserving of a chance to work hard and try.

What is your favorite quote?

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.” -Steve Jobs

What was your summer highlight?

It’s a tie between my five weeks working in resident life at Georgia’s Governor’s Honor Program and serving for the second summer in a row as a Dawg Camp extended orientation counselor. GHP was a very pivotal part of my life in high school, so it was awesome to go back and support students there. Dawg Camp has been a huge part of my college journey since I went to DC Adventure back in July of 2017. I finally got to lead my dream camp, Classic City, and I felt so lucky to work with those students, and my incredible co-counselor turned wonderful friend.

What was your proudest moment in the past year?

It’s hard to pick one moment; I’ve been so blessed. The first thing that comes to mind is when I brought on my first freelance client/team. I was working with an incredible brand who trusted me and my team with their message and vision. That was something really special, because I have always dealt with imposter syndrome. At that moment, I realized I was competent in my field, and that I was capable and worthy of being trusted to do good work.

What is your favorite Athens restaurant?

Trappeze Pub, their Bougie Bird is absolutely incredible, and I am 100 percent Team Garlic Aioli.