Maddie McCracken is determined to remind everyone there is beauty in each day, even if they are struggling with mental health. Maddie, who has experienced her own issues, works to spread this message and encourage those experiencing those same struggles to reach out and talk to someone.
The 20-year-old Wildwood, New Jersey native created and runs a nonprofit, the Step Back Foundation. Based in Wildwood, the Foundation’s mission is to motivate and inspire kids at an early age to “be a part of something special.” This can be anything from a sports team, a club, or another kind of organization that empowers kids to build their self-love, poise, and confidence.
The Step Back Foundation provides athletic equipment and other necessary items to local student-athletes and families who are struggling and may need financial assistance. The Foundation provides the practical means for student-athletes to become involved in those activities that will help raise their self-esteem.
Maddie is a 2019 graduate of Wildwood High School, where she was Valedictorian, passed a biliteracy test (Spanish) before graduation, and was an all-around athlete who competed in soccer, basketball, and track. Despite missing her senior season because of a knee injury, Maddie had 43 career goals in soccer. She completed her high school basketball career with 2001 career points, and broke – and still holds – the 1600-meter and 3200-meter school records in track. Maddie was the recipient of Wendy’s High School Heisman Award for New Jersey in 2018, which rewards outstanding scholar-athletes and recognizes exceptional ability and encourages integrity and community responsibility.
Currently, Maddie is in her final semester at Stockton University where she is majoring in business management and minoring in Spanish. After graduation she is planning to attend graduate school, focusing on growing her nonprofit, and working to continue to impact the community in positive ways.