Class of 2006
Fransesca Madonna graduated in 2010 from New Trier High School. After visiting many West Coast universities that were not a good fit, she decided a GAP year was necessary. Thanks to money saved working weekends and summers at family restaurants, she left for her first stint in India in January 2011 for 2 months. In January 2012, she traveled for 10 months, living in India, Greece, and Berlin, Germany. In January 2013, she moved to Berlin and started taking German classes in hopes of enrolling in a German University. As of January 2016, she is enrolled in a three-year program at a self-disciplinary school taking courses in Phytotherapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture), Homeopathy, Iris-diagnosis, Anatomy and Pathology, along with an array of hands-on body work courses such as Yoga, Shiatsu, Tuina, Qi Gong, Acro yoga, Classical and Thai Massage and many more.
The school “Heilpraktikschule in Selbstverwaltung” is built on a self-governing principle, meaning that everyone in the school has equal rights in making decisions about their learning experience and the progress of the school as a whole. The school and its members are also very involved politically and socially and often hold workshops about relevant topics such as racism, consent and violence-free communication. They offer donation-based wellness appointments with the proceeds going to solidarity projects and offer free consultations for healing to refugees. At the end of the course and exams, Fransesca will be licensed as a “Heilpraktikerin” which literally means “healing practitioner” but is known in the states as a “Naturopath.” To continue her studies outside the classroom, she plans to travel to South America and maybe again to India to explore the biodiversity with a new perspective and build on her knowledge of the healing power of herbs and plants and learn from natives the wonders of “folk medicine” and traditions in health practices.