Madison Highland is an Athletic Trainer at the Vereen Center who treats the athletes at Mitchell County High School. Highland grew up in Peachtree City, Georgia, and earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern University.
“I found out about the Vereen Center through my program director at Georgia Southern,” Highland said. “He knew about the program and knew Jaclyn Donovan (Vereen’s Athletic Training Services Coordinator), so he kind of threw that my way. Jaclyn also went to Georgia Southern, so she came and talked about the Vereen Center and all that they have to offer. Ever since then, that was where really I wanted to go, what I wanted to apply to, and the rest is history.”
Highland said that her experience at Mitchell County has been a good one.
“I really like the school I’m at,” she said. “Everything so far has been great. The Vereen Center in general is great. Everyone is super welcoming, brings you in like your one of their own, like you’ve been here forever.”
Having a facility that provides you with everything you need to do the job is a real plus, according to Highland.
“Literally, anything that you need or want or think you might want, they can offer, they have, they can give it to you,” she said. “From working with Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, the doctors, anyone that works in the clinic, they’re all there for you. They’re all there to help you out if you need it. They have all the tools, all the resources, anything that you could possibly need to help yourself and also make you a better Athletic Trainer. … I think I had high expectations going into this just from the great things I had heard, and all those expectations were definitely met.”
Highland’s motivation comes from the connections she forms with her athletes and the positive impact she can have on their lives.
“My favorite aspect of being an Athletic Trainer is really just knowing that I’m making a difference in these kids’ lives, whether that’s being the person to help them get back on Friday night or being someone that listens to them when they have a bad day,” she said. “That’s something that’s really rewarding to me, and it definitely motivates me to keep me going so that I’m doing my best so that I can help these kids do their best and perform to the best of their abilities when they go back out to play.”
As for the future, Highland sees herself staying in high school athletics.
“Right now I really like high school athletics, so as of now I’m planning on sticking to high school. … I could see myself working at a high school throughout my future.”
In her free time, Highland likes to travel all over the Southeast to visit friends, and she likes to spend time in the water.