Almost a University of Tennessee-Knoxville graduate, Madeline Jennings is a second generation Woman of Wilson honoree. Her mother, Tuckers Crossroads teacher Betsy Jennings, the daughter of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store founder Danny Evins, was featured as a WOW in January 2015.
Like her mother, Madeline was born and raised in Wilson County. Betsy was a graduate of Friendship Christian and attended Cumberland University. Madeline, however, graduated from Lebanon High School in 2012 and through fate - ended up at UT.
"I originally had plans to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and decided a month before I was supposed to move to California that I was already homesick and luckily I had applied to UT a semester prior just in case, so really I had no choice," she explained. "It has been amazing, though."
Madeline will graduate in December 2016. She is pursuing a Sociology degree with a concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
"I am passionate about the behavioral side of criminology and forensics as a whole. I hope to find a job investigating crimes, handling evidence or criminal profiling on a state or federal level," she said.
For now, her free time is spent on a much different passion - makeup. Madeline works as a freelance makeup artist.
"I have always been obsessed with makeup; however, what really sparked my interest was working at Sephora and being surrounded by amazing artists every day," she said. After leaving Sephora due to a hectic school schedule, Madeline used the techniques she acquired to beautify family and friends.
"I love thinking of someone's face as a blank canvas. Adding shadows and light, complimenting with colors and facial features - all of it is art to me. I love trying new things and seeing what I can do, artistically, to enhance natural beauty as well as get a little overboard with glitter and sparkles 99 percent of the time," she said. "It is all about making someone feel beautiful and satisfying my creative fix."
In her spare time, Madeline enjoys being around her family - including mom, Betsy; dad, Bubba; and sisters, Mallory, Molly and Merritt.
"I am extremely close with my family, so anything and any time spent with them is my favorite thing," she said.
It comes as no shock that she listed her mother as one of the women she most admires.
"She inspires me to be kind and grateful. She never meets a stranger. She is so warm and comforting in any given situation, just hearing her voice can turn any bad day good," she said. "She is a wonderful mom to us, a wonderful wife to my daddy, and a wonderful friend, teacher, daughter, sister - pretty much my heaven on earth. I am forever thankful for her and extremely lucky that I have someone so inspiring to look up to and talk to every day."
Another woman she admires is her older sister, Mallory.
"Although I act like her big sister most of the time, she's mine and has been my absolute best friend for 22 years now. I could only hope to be as hard-working, motivated and carefree as her. She is truly the most beautiful soul - inside and out."
Madeline's future plans include pursuing a Master's Degree and interning in the criminal justice field over the summer.