While at Penn, Madison Dawkins majored in Political Science and Africana Studies and was a member of Penn's women's soccer team. She is committed to reducing mass incarceration and has addressed the issue in multiple ways including a fellowship with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy and implementing a health and mindfulness course at the Riverside Correctional Facility for women. While a student at Penn, she interned with Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the Vera Institute for Justice. Maddie participated in the From Cell to Home for Women Lifers project with the Ortner Center, which facilitates the release of 4-6 women currently serving life sentences in Pennsylvania prisons.