Spring on the York College campus

A Future Reshaped

Madison Davis sits on a green couch with a laptop on her lap while smiling at the camera.

In May 2017, Madison “Maddie” Davis was diagnosed with Juvenile Myositis (JM). Diagnosis of the life-threatening autoimmune disease meant weeks of hospitalization followed by rehabilitation. It also meant her dream of joining the military was over.

Today, Davis, from Millersville, Maryland, is a sophomore studying Education at York College. The disease changed her physically, but the challenges she had to overcome also changed her outlook on life – for the better. Through living with JM, she has gained a new sense of empathy and compassion.

Davis is a teen advocate for Cure JM, a nonprofit raising awareness and funding research for JM. Helping others has given meaning to her own experience. She says, “It makes it seem like I went through all this for a reason.” She has plans to write an autobiography about her experience with JM and beyond. “I have so much to share,” she says. “JM definitely changed me for the better.”

Her dream used to be joining the United States Coast Guard Academy. Now, Davis’s dream job is running a charter school, being on a board of education, or becoming a lobbyist. She wants to make the kind of big changes she thinks could benefit the education system.

As a Graham Innovation Scholar, Davis has already started on her dream of making big changes. This summer, she began testing a summer program for children in York that encourages innovation and entrepreneurial ideas at YCP’s Graham Innovation Zone. She believes helping children grow up and deal with their problems and supporting them is one of the things that is essential to have in a school system.