Maddie Reiman | Faces of Midland
A Bright Light
Blessed by a strong support system, Maddie Reiman has forged on when many others would have given up.
A senior Human Services major from Auburn, Nebraska, Maddie’s path to graduation has had plenty of detours. But through circumstances both wonderful and tragic, Maddie has faced them all with determination.
Midland wasn’t even on Maddie’s radar until the spring of her senior year of high school. “I had my heart set on going to UNL, then the Midland cheer coach reached out to me in March,” she said. “I scheduled an on-campus visit, but campus closed because of Covid the day before my visit, so I was one of the first people to take part in a virtual visit. After visiting with the coaches, Midland just felt right.”
She found out during her freshman year that she was going to have a baby boy. “Between Covid and being pregnant, my freshman year was pretty unique,” Maddie said. “I had Jeter that following March, and I worked out a schedule through my advisor to do all my classes online. When Jeter was born, he spent three weeks in the NICU. I remember taking tests while waiting in the hospital, but I’m so grateful my professors were so helpful.”
In November of her sophomore year, tragedy struck her family when her older brother died as the result of a hunting accident. In a moment where Maddie could have decided enough was enough, she grew even more determined to finish what she started. “I was visiting with Keith Kramme (Director of Student Success), and he told me they were going to get me to graduation, no matter what it took. I always tell people that If I were going to college anywhere else, I would have dropped out by now. The support I have received from my coaches, advisors, professors, and admissions staff has been amazing.”
Jeter has been a regular on campus since his arrival. “I feel like everyone around campus knows who he is, and they’re always excited to see him,” she said. “Jeter has been my motivation through everything because I know I have to provide for him. He’s been my bright light.”
Being the parent of a 2-year-old boy presents its own set of challenges. Between being a mom, a student, a member of the cheer team, and serving as an Admissions Ambassador, life can get a little crazy. “I think my involvement on campus has been my release,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for me to forget everything else for a little while. I don’t have to be a mom or a student; I can just be myself. It’s probably what keeps me sane.
“I’m so lucky to have supportive parents. They’ll take Jeter for a weekend so I can study for a test, or they will watch him for a couple of hours so I can cheer. I’m also lucky to live with my younger brother, Weston (a sophomore at Midland). It’s a great experience for Jeter to get to live with his uncle.”
Surrounding Jeter with family is never a problem for Maddie. She comes from a family of 12 children, the eight youngest, all adopted through foster care. “My dad is a former teacher, and now a superintendent, and my mom works as an early childhood specialist, so they have a pretty good idea what it’s like to be around a lot of kids,” she said.
Maddie embraces her role as an ambassador, hoping she can be an example that no matter what life throws at you, you can always work through it. “I feel like I offer a unique perspective,” she said. “It’s given me the opportunity to tell them my story, what I love about Midland, and all the support I’ve received.”
Having a great understanding of what it means to be a young mom, trying to juggle raising a child while still pursuing an education, has also given her a leg up as she follows a career in Human Services. She is currently serving an internship through Fremont Sixpence, a Fremont Public Schools program that provides early childhood learning experiences to children zero to three years of age, as well as education and support to the parents. “I got involved in the program when Jeter was born, and I’ve been very grateful to have that connection,” she said. “One of the biggest reasons I switched from education to human services was that I want to work with teen moms in the future. My dream job would be to someday open a nonprofit for teen parents.”
Maddie Reiman is a senior Human Services major from Auburn, Nebraska.