Rebecca Dickson, Reporter
A new chapter has opened for an avid reader, actress and volunteer. While she may have left her high school behind, her passions continue in different forms.
McKenzie Bell, Pierce College Puyallup first started her time in Puyallup about two years ago. According to Bell, her parents moved from Gig Harbor to Puyallup in order to get jobs.
After she moved, Bell attended Emerald Ridge High School for one year in order to finish her senior year.
“It was great,” Bell said. “I was only there for my senior year, but I was apart of the Key Club (at Emerald Ridge) and I was also part of the theater program. It was fun, and I was taking AP classes.”
Bell started having a passion for volunteering after she learned she needed volunteer hours in order to graduate. Starting out with volunteering with Key Club in order to get the required hours, Bell soon found that she enjoyed it.
“I volunteered a lot,” Bell said. “I helped out a lot with the senior events and with the Daffodil Ceremony at our school. (At the Daffodil Ceremony), the volunteers basically helped set up the event and also set up the food.”
This spawned a passion for volunteering that she has carried over time.
According to Bell, she volunteered at the Puyallup Public Library and the YMCA over the summer, specifically with the children’s programs.
“(At the YMCA) I got to meet other people and just helping others is what I enjoy doing,” Bell said. “I helped out with the summer camp there, helping the counselors with the kids. Playing games with the kids was pretty fun. I thought the whole experience was pretty fun.”
At the Puyallup Public Library, Bell assisted with the running of an initiative program they run in the summer. Over the summer, children can track their reading, and in return they can earn prizes from the library.
“I helped out the teen librarian in whatever she needed,” Bell said. “I liked making crafts for little kids for like the summer reading events they had.”
Specifically, Bell created the sample crafts for the children to model their crafts after. While she didn’t work directly with the children, she liked the experience. Not only was she following her passion for volunteerism, she said, but also she was able to be in a library.
“I wanted to volunteer (at the Puyallup) library because, well, I love libraries; I love books,” Bell said. “Getting to know the librarians, that was pretty impactful.”
In addition, Bell has a long-held passion for theater. According to Bell, her parents enrolled her in drama clubs when she was in third grade, and she ended up finding it to be a passion.
“It’s sort of become a hobby of mine,” Bell said. “I was a little nervous (at first) because I started in like third grade, so I was so shy, but I ended up liking it because it’s brought me out of my comfort zone. I just had fun with everyone in the class and just performing on stage and everything.”
After that, Bell ended up continuing with drama through middle school and high school. She participated in Emerald Ridge’s theater productions. She held roles in Charlotte’s Web, the spring production, and in Hairspray, the school’s musical. In addition, Bell took a drama class while in her senior year.
Bell has continued her passion for Drama Club while at Pierce.
“I joined drama club last quarter at Pierce and it’s been a fun experience,” Bell said. “(we’ve been filming a short film.) The short film is just about college students, (and) I guess life in college basically..”
While Bell wants to continue drama club next year, she isn’t sure if she can, as she wants to become a teacher, and is considering taking classes at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom next year. While Bell lives closer to Pierce College Puyallup, she knows that the teaching program is only available at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. Therefore, she will be most likely taking classes there.
While she now knows that she wants to be a teacher, Bell wasn’t sure at first. Originally, she wanted to go into a math or science field. However, in winter quarter, Bell found that she wanted to become a teacher for first or second graders.
“I took different classes in my first quarter here, because I was still exploring my path,” Bell said.
Now that Bell has figured out what she wants to do for a career, she has some advice for those who are unsure.
“Take different classes that you are interested in and, I guess, sometime you will find something (that catches your eye),” Bell said. “If you want to be a teacher, to get the experience, volunteer with kids.”
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