Interview by Caroline Alegado Nomination and Photography by Carla Bucala Photography (above) and Mackenzie McMahan (below) Michigan
The Nomination: Mackenzie McMahan is such an inspiration to everybody that she meets. She is Student Council President and represents her class in Student Government. She is on National Honors Society and serves as liaison to the school board. On top of that, she volunteers her time and hosts events at the Downriver Council for the Arts. She regularly attends leadership camps and institutes through Masc. In her spare time, she is a photographer, and offers photoshoots to other Seniors- they pay what they can afford. She is always a breath of fresh air. She is always smiling, laughing and always kind to everyone she meets. She just made her High School Homecoming Court, so fingers crossed she can add Queen to her resume!
As a young photographer who still has a lot to learn, I enjoy taking pictures of whatever I can. It is easy for me to see the beauty of what’s around me through my lens and I appreciate an opportunity I get to do so. It’s important to me that people have pictures of them that are timeless and capture who they are. I believe photographs are an awesome way of looking back on who you were and who you are now. I’m very lenient on what people pay me for shoots because this has allowed me to connect with people and give them a gift that will last a lifetime which is the most rewarding part.
MASC/MAHS is the acronym for Michigan Association of Student Councils and Honors Societies. It is an organization committed to students and developing character and leadership skills. MASC puts on several different events from regionals, to states, to leadership training institutes, and leadership camp every summer. I have had the privilege of attending these events through my student council. These events, especially camp, have allowed me to break out of my comfort zone and become the person I am today. The activities put on at camp have helped me focus on communication, team building, and stepping out of my comfort zone. As a leader, inclusion and acknowledging my peers and their hard work is big for me. I enjoy giving my peers tasks and a moment in the spotlight that allows me to step back and for them to step up. MASC has not only improved how I lead, but it has significantly impacted me as a person. My character is dramatically altered by this camp and how it pushes you to be your unapologetic self.
As student council President, my responsibilities are to bring new ideas into our council such as community service events, fundraising ideas, and bonding experiences. I lead our council during meetings and make decisions on how to keep our council active.
My role as liaison to my school board requires me to report updates of the happenings at my high school during school board meetings. It is a way to keep the community informed of the high school and the students and to keep a connection between the community and the school district.
Downriver Council for the Arts is an organization in the Downriver area that inhabits local artists, has art classes, dance classes, and so much more. My volunteer opportunities come from the youth council that I’m in at the DCA. The youth council has a mission on giving artistic teens (and teens in general) a place where they can fully express themselves. We have put on successful events such as an open mic night and an artist showcase. The open mic night allowed for teens aged 12-19 to perform in front of the attendants and the showcase allowed the same age group to accentuate their art; such as photography, sketches, paintings, ceramics, and music.