Humans of Appleton North: Madison Manske

Mya Koffie

When asked about what she wants out of this year, Madison Manske – a two-year attendee of, and senior at, Appleton North High School – jokingly replies, “to graduate.” Madison brings joy to every situation. Her sense of humor brightens even the most stressful times, and the support she consistently offers her friends impacts the community. Madison acts in Appleton North’s theater department and is involved in mission-driven clubs such as Girl Up and UNICEF. Her favorite aspect of the community at North is the welcoming atmosphere.

Madison confesses that The Dark Knight holds the title of ‘favorite movie’ in her heart. “I was a very big Heath Ledger fan,” she admits, her inner fangirls bleeding through. “I…love analyzing that movie! I try to get into the head of the Joker, like, try to figure out what’s going on, why he did this, all that kind of stuff. Even Batman Begins with Jack Nicholson as the joker – I love that!” Madison’s favorite book, a self-help manual by former U.S. admiral William H. McRaven, is Make Your Bed. “It’s guided me through a lot,” she reveals. 

Madison describes herself as “a military kid.” Her father actively serves the military, and her grandfather, who lives with her, is a U.S. veteran. Her father’s occupation means that Madison travels frequently and has been exposed to a variety of diverse cultures. She expresses that “trying to find my people” and “finding somebody who understands” are the two hardest aspects of the military kid experience, which demands “a lot of adapting.” Madison provides advice on adapting to change. She emphasized the fact that “everyone’s going to have an opinion of you, and there’s always going to be somebody who doesn’t like you. So just be yourself.” She expands on this in a later statement, urging, “be yourself…when you move into a different city, town, country…really be unashamed of who you are. And also, reach out for help.” 

Madison understands the significance of getting help and intends to pursue psychology in college. She hopes to one day practice clinical psychiatry as a specialized therapist for patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – particularly, veterans. “ I want to do it, because I’ve seen first hand…how PTSD can destroy a person, how it can change everything,” Madison explains passionately. “I would like to be able to give back to our veterans, and help them get through.” 


Appeared in the October 2021 Noctiluca (Humans of Appleton North) Issue.