Follow your dreams: Annie’s Madison College story

Outside of main Truax Campus building.

More than a student

Annie smiles for the camera

What do you do in your free time when you are a full-time student, work three part-time jobs, are active in your church, sing in a choir and perform in a church band? 

For Madison College student Annie Heathcote that means carving out time to play for her power soccer team of 14 years – the Wisconsin Warriors. 

“Love the sport. Love to play,” she said. 

Power soccer is an adaptive sport for athletes in wheelchairs. This international sport has more than 250 teams.

Describing herself as competitive, Annie travels out of state for games and tournaments. Last year, she was one of the top scorers in the United States.

She does all of this in addition to being a full-time student at Madison College – with a double major. 

Skeptical at first 

Now in her fourth semester of the Graphic Design and Web & Interactive Design programs, Annie admits to being skeptical about Madison College when she was younger. 

Then she talked to friends and a teammate from her soccer team about their experiences at the college. 

Annie first toured a four-year college to explore their campus and learn more about the services available to students with disabilities. While the other college offered great disability services, it came down to the program. 

“I didn’t need general education classes. I needed a technical skill,” she said. 

She spoke with professionals in the field about their college experiences too. 

Before deciding on a program, Annie observed 10 professionals in her area of interest at work. Everyone she spoke to had either attended a technical college or wish they had the opportunity to gain the skills they could earn at Madison College. 

“I am receiving a good education for a lower price,” Annie said. 

She is proud knowing she is receiving a quality education from top programs and will graduate debt free. Plus, she has the support she needs from Madison College’s Disability Resource Services.  

Respectful culture

Her support team at Madison College includes her disability and general advisors. Before classes start, the team works together with Annie to personalize her schedule, meet her instructors and ensure things such as the desk height fits her needs. 

Annie feels teachers at Madison College really care about students. Teachers here take time to learn students’ names and their learning style. 

“Everyone is super respectful and supportive,” she said. 

If she has any concerns, Annie has a conversation with her disability advisor to find a solution. 

Pursuing her dreams

After Annie completes her two Madison College programs, she says she has her entire life planned out. She not only hopes to work for an agency, but she is in the process of setting up her freelance business. 

“You can’t be afraid to follow your dreams. Work the disability around your life,” she said. “Ninety percent of life is mental. Don’t let things stop you.”