Pasadena high school grad wins scholarships recognizing community contributions

It’s always been important to Mackenzie Tapp that everyone feels included.

“I think it’s important to hear everyone’s voice no matter what,” the Pasadena Academy high school graduate told West Coast Wire.

Mackenzie, 18, has been active in many initiatives promoting inclusivity at her school, whether through her work with the drama club, student council or starting the school’s AGK, supporting the LGBTQI+ school population.

From personal experience, she knows the value of fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all her fellow youth.

“There were times in my life when I felt like I wasn’t included, not so much systematically but a bit socially, in primary school and I think it’s always important to make sure that everyone is heard,” she explains. “Especially when we are talking about minorities, homosexual children. There are a lot of people in middle school, especially, but in high school too, who struggle a lot in silence. »

For Mackenzie, she found a community of people through the drama club.

“I found this group of people who understood me for the first time,” she says.

Mackenzie remained in the drama club throughout high school.

One of her joys over the past school year has been working on a theater production with younger children and discovering how comfortable they were in that setting.

“Seeing these shy kids come out of their shell to become a character was such a cool thing to watch,” she says.

It’s also been important for Mackenzie to be an ally and make sure the LGBTQI+ community feels supported. In March, she started GSA from Pasadena Academy. One of the initiatives they undertook to support the LGBTQI+ community was to sell grams of candy during Pride month.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale was donated to Rainbow Road, a charity that helps LGBTQI+ people escape state-sponsored violence in other countries.
The school also flew a pride flag on Rainbow Day.

As a member of the student council since grade 10 and president until grade 12, it has been rewarding to meet his fellow students and play a leading role in planning his school’s activities.

“I wanted to help contribute to the school environment,” says Mackenzie.

She has also volunteered at West Haven Camp, the local library, and co-directed a production of The Wizard of Oz.

An exciting future

Now a graduate, Mackenzie looks forward to continuing her university studies.

For all her efforts, she was awarded scholarships that will help her pursue studies in computer science at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Two of the scholarships, the Dalhousie Entrance Community and Leadership Scholarship and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Safe, Caring and Inclusive Graduating Student Leadership Bursary, were earned through her involvement in extracurricular initiatives.

Mackenzie’s interest in computers was sparked by her tech-savvy father, David. When she was in 10th grade, he introduced her to the Linux operating system.
Since he put the system on his computer, there has been no turning back, preferring it to all other operating systems. Through an online course at school, Mackenzie has since learned to code and use the Python programming language.

She hopes to eventually work with artificial intelligence. She thinks it can one day help solve problems like climate change.

“I don’t think I would like to live in a society where robots live among humans – it’s a bit dystopian – but I think we can use artificial intelligence to solve societal problems, or just as the basic functions of life,” she explains.

Along with her father, one of her role models is a 19th-century historical figure, Ada Lovelace, often considered the first computer programmer. She also thanks her high school math teachers for helping her a lot.

Mackenzie will start school this fall at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It anticipates a drastic but exciting change from a city of 3,500 people to a city of over 400,000 people.

“Halifax has a lot of student life and I think it will be good to explore somewhere new,” she says. “And I’ve been there before, so it’s not like I’m going there completely blind. I’m very excited.”

Mackenzie Tapp Scholarships received:

– Renewable Dalhousie Entrance Scholarship: $12,000 (based on his school average)
– Dalhousie Women in Technology Scholarship: $10,000 (based on his interest in computing)
– Dalhousie Community Entrance and Leadership Scholarship: $1,000 (based on leadership/community involvement, drama club, student council, acting, summer camp, library, GSA, etc.)
– Safe, Caring and Inclusive Leadership Scholarship for Graduate Students from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador: $500 (creating a safe environment in his school community through activities such as drama club, student council, and GSA)
– Stock market Solve your debts.Com: $1,000 (based on an essay she wrote on financial literacy as well as a budget she made for the next year)

Sam D. Gomez