The South is know for its hospitality and its importance of community and service. Madison Shaw, Atlanta, GA native, has taken that mantra to heart and has dedicated her life to serving others through social work and mental health awareness. She is a down to earth girl who loves wearing a smile on her face and even finds to be a cheerleader for the Washington Redskins! You may even recognize her from a recent surprise proposal post we did a few weeks ago. Madison is an proud Howard University Alum who is staying true to her southern roots and enjoying that life has to offer. Learn more about this Georgia Belle today!
Madison S. Shaw
Mental Health Clinician, LGSW
DC Public Charter School
Alpha Kappa Alpha
Favorite thing about being southern:
Incorporating the southern traditions from my family
What is your personal life motto:
“ Beauty is as Beauty does”
What is the most challenging professional obstacle you have had?
Dealing with individuals that do not care to change, when change is the only way for them to succeed. I believe in “meeting the client where they are” and sometimes they may not be ready to change or ready to progress, which can be challenging.
Why did you choose social work?
I enjoy advocating and helping people in all aspects.
What do you think is the most important mental health topic for #Black Southern Belles to address? Why?
I think the most important topic is being open minded to mental health and providing proper psychoeducation about what mental health really represents. There are many stigmas tied to the idea of mental health, which provides a barrier amongst all populations. I think it is important to start with the basics.
What do you enjoy most about consulting?
I enjoy that I can be creative with interventions and my approach with clients. My favorite part about being a social worker / therapist is engagement and building rapport. To me that is the best part of the relationship because you are building trust and getting the know the individual.
How did you decide to pursue your graduate degree?
After graduating, I was originally supposed to pursue my graduate degree in physical therapy. I remember having a summer internship at a physical therapy office. Although I was there to help clients reach a comfortable level of mobility, I realized I was also there to support their emotional needs. That’s when I decided I wanted to pursue different form of therapy.
How long have you been dancing?
I have been dancing since I was four years old.
Who is your favorite southern TV/Movie character? Why?
Princess Tiana of Maldonia in The Princess and the Frog because she was the first african American princess and she was from the south. She also incorporated many aspects of her southern culture in the movie, which made her character very relatable.
Who do you wish you could meet? Why?
I hope that I could really sit down with Michelle Obama. Besides her being the most influential women on earth, I genuinely want to talk with her about everyday successes and challenges as a woman, wife and mother.
What is your favorite thing about your hometown?
I love the fact that Atlanta is a big city, but has the a clam southern feel to it.
What advice would you give your younger college self?
I would tell my younger college self to stay focused on you. Do not worry about impressing others, what people think of you or boys. Boys will always be there lol. Everyone else will either support you or fall by the waist side. If if they do fall by the waist side it may not necessarily be a bad thing. It may be the best thing for you to progress. And never put anyone above God and family.
Why did you choose to attend Howard University?
Well, my mother and uncle attending Howard University. Because of that, I was sure I would NOT be attending. One summer I went visit Howard on a college tour and it immediately felt like home. The culture was so vibrant and it seemed as if there were endless possibilities. I just knew I had to be there.
What is your favorite Southern Dish? Why?
My favorite southern dish is peach cobbler because my grandmother makes the best peach cobbler hands down!
What is your go to Southern Brand? Why?
Chick-fil-A, because who doesn’t love Chick- Fil- a?
Where can we connect with you?
@Madison.Savannah on IG /@Madisonave22 on Twitter