Mothers Who Inspire – Madison & Jaxon

Change of Plans

Ella’s House is very familiar with “change of plans.”  Every day we interact with women who are forced to chart a new course.  Madison Woods is a stellar example of someone who has had to move from strength to strength.  When life tripped up her plans, she navigated the hurdles and found meaning in the journey.

In 2021 Madison had just started her graduate studies at The Ohio State University when she discovered she was pregnant.  She had no family or friends in the area.  Financial resources were scarce, and she was scared.  What she did have was motivation.  Madison was determined to complete her degree – becoming a first-generation scholar in her family – and raise her son.

“I never considered my pregnancy as something to derail my education,” recalls Madison.  “I always knew I’d keep my child.  The choice in front of me was not ‘if” but ‘how.’”

Madison quickly put a plan in motion. Her first step was obtaining a driver’s license to get herself and her baby to appointments and work.  She already had a job as a graduate assistant as part of her studies. She juggled school, a job, doctor’s appointments, a pregnancy and eventually delivery.   Madison gave birth to Jaxon in March 2022, and completed her Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs in May 2023

“There were times when I stumbled or doubted myself, but friends and family stepped in during those dark times,” Madison recalls.  “I learned it’s okay to be sad. Pregnancy can be happy ,but also very scary.”

When asked what advice she’d give other pregnant/parenting students Madison said, “Set your mind to be resilient and flexible.  You’ll need both.  Oh, and don’t forget to be proud of yourself…it’s a tough road but you can do it.”

Madison and Jaxon reside in Nashville, TN.  Madison works at Vanderbilt University as a Program Coordinator in Student Organizations, Leadership, and Service.  She spends her time empowering other students to pursue their dreams no matter what the cost.

Ella’s House is proud to know Madison and looks forward to her involvement with our residents!

For more information on Ella’s House or if you’d like to volunteer: please contact Emilie.