Madison “Maddy” Hawkes ’23 was crowned Miss Seacoast in June, and will have a busy year ahead as she plans for the Miss New Hampshire competition in April. The elementary education major plans to make good use of the many opportunities her position provides in furtherance of her commendable socially conscious goals.
The Miss Seacoast event was particularly noteworthy as it was the first of its kind to be held nationwide since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a titleholder, we each have a Social Impact Initiative, where we push for awareness for a cause we are passionate about,” says Hawkes. “I feel it is important to help fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community and those affected by cancer. I advocate for patient and family support.”
As a “ResearcHERS” ambassador for the American Cancer Society (ACS), Hawkes spreads the word and fundraises to support female-led cancer research. “I am currently in connection with multiple schools across New Hampshire and Massachusetts to educate students and teachers, and I am also looking to work with local hospitals and cancer-based organizations to get them involved as well,” she says.
Hawkes notes that the American Cancer Society has funded 49 researchers who have gone on to receive the Nobel prize, but, to date, none of them have been women. “This is why it is so important to support campaigns such as ResearcHERS,” she says. She also serves as a board member for ACS’s Relay for Life. Her efforts on behalf of the community-based campaign recently helped raise $75,000 at a Seacoast area event.
Hawkes’s civic involvements also include service on many levels with Reach1Teach1Love1, which advocates for change surrounding the stigma of mental health and suicide. The organization seeks to help open doors of communication so youth are not forced to suffer in silence. After being recruited as the organization’s peer board treasurer, Hawkes subsequently created her own position of marketing and events coordinator, and most recently was elected peer board president. She is a recipient of Reach1Teach1Love1’s Reach for Your Dreams Scholarship, awarded for youth mental health advocacy within the organization.
As a high school student at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH, Hawkes ran Astros United, a student club that supports mental health awareness and elimination of stigma. She currently lives just below the state line in the seacoast town of Newburyport, MA, and her full-time status at PSU qualifies her to participate in New Hampshire competitions.
Hawkes is Plymouth State’s Class of 2023 vice president, and serves as both a transfer data specialist and marketing and events coordinator for the Admissions Office. Leading tours for prospective students provides a natural outlet for sharing her school spirit. “My favorite PSU tradition is First Fire,” she says. “You can truly see the community come together to celebrate the history behind our wonderful school.”