Cherise Madigan, Nazareth College
Cherise Madigan is a junior at Nazareth College and has been heavily involved in civic engagement issues since she came from Vermont as a first generation college student. She founded a non-profit organization whose purpose is to work with women in the Middle East and Africa who face gender discrimination. By Skyping weekly with a feminist activist in Iraq, Cherise was able to work directly with womens’ movements worldwide that house human trafficking victims in Baghdad as well as victims of child marriage and female genital mutilation in Kenya. After her father became incarcerated, Cherise had to find others to lead this organization. She then had time to support her father and lobby against interstate prison transfers. The issue was brought to her attention when her father was moved to a for-profit prison in Kentucky away from his family and his legal counsel. She has always committed herself to identifying social issues that are close to her heart and working to make a difference. Her thoughtful, articulate and intelligent approach to life will indeed make positive change in this world.