Today marks Madison Brooks’ 21st birthday | Mother to accept her posthumous diploma from LSU

Grandmother Mandy LeBlanc, Madi's mother Ashley Baustert and Baustert's best friend Jenny Reimold celebrating Madi Brooks' 21st birthday in Charleston, South Carolina
Grandmother Mandy LeBlanc, Madi’s mother Ashley Baustert and Baustert’s best friend Jenny Reimold celebrating Madi Brooks’ 21st birthday in Charleston, South Carolina

BATON ROUGE — Madison Brooks, the LSU student who multiple men allegedly raped before she was dropped off and then hit by a car in January 2023, would have been turning 21 years old today.

Her mother, Ashley Baustert, tells UWK that she, her best friend and Madison’s grandmother are celebrating Madi’s 21st birthday out of state to honor her love of travel. She said in honor of her daughter’s birthday, EtuHOME is hosting an event at its store in Charleston, South Carolina on May 7th from 4-6 p.m. and 10% of all proceeds in-store and online will be donated to the Madison Brooks Foundation.

“lt’s a difficult day for me but I am doing my best to find small moments of joy while celebrating her beautiful life,” Baustert said. “Madi lived every day to the fullest. Celebrating her birthday on a trip is exactly what Madi would want. My goal is to live while I’m waiting to be reunited with her in heaven.”

The Madison Brooks Scholarship donated $40,000 to the Manship School on April 29, 2024. The goal is to have the scholarship endowed once it reaches $100,000. Anyone wishing to donate to the scholarship, click here.

“The foundation is giving me joy because I’m helping others, which was at the very heart of Madi,” said her mom.

Baustert told UWK no parent should ever have to bury their own child or go to a gravesite to celebrate their child. She said Madi’s gravesite is full of pink flowers today in honor of her what would have been her 21st birthday.

“19 years of the best memories have been being her mother,” said Baustert.

Madi Brooks' gravesite on her 21st birthday
Madi Brooks’ gravesite on her 21st birthday

Baustert says while meeting with LSU, she learned that the university will now graduate her daughter!

“LSU plans on recognizing her at the December commencement, which I’m very much looking forward to,” she told UWK.

Brooks was allowed to be included in the ceremony based on the credits she had earned before her death.

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