Brooke Manz, Reporter

Senior Kiersten McNeely, who has always had a desire to help others, will be attending York College of Pennsylvania this fall to pursue nursing.

McNeely realized her passion in life at 8, as she spent a great deal of time in the hospital battling childhood cancer.

“The nurses were such a big part of my time in the hospital, and I want to give people that same kind of love, care, and kindness I received,” McNeely said.

Since then, McNeely made it her life goal to become a nurse and help others, including her friends, family, and future patients.

McNeely has taken many steps towards her goal, including taking classes in high school to help educate her and learn as much as she can.

“Anatomy and biology have had the biggest influence on my education and will help prepare me for the future,” McNeely said.

Along with these classes, McNeely took Mr. Hachtman’s research course that allowed her to learn life skills and develop a better understanding of how to deal with problems.

“Throughout the course, I further learned how to approach, tackle, and interpret problems, which I believe will be very useful when helping patients. Taking this research course has taught me numerous lessons that I never thought I would learn, and I am so grateful for the experience I had,” McNeely said.

Mr. Hachtman has been one of McNeely’s biggest impacts in high school and is one of the reasons why she is able to pursue her dream.

“I was so beyond lucky to have the support of my teacher Mr. Hachtman, who has always challenged me and believed in me, even when I didn’t,” McNeely said.

This past spring, McNeely participated in a demanding science competition for Hachtman’s research course, where she conducted research and presented in front of a multitude of judges.

“This has been one of the hardest undertakings I’ve had to do throughout high school, and at many times through my research, I didn’t believe I could do it and doubted myself, but Hachtman, as well as my friends, pushed me further to allow me to succeed and strive.”

Along with her encouraging teacher, McNeely has had the massive support of her friends and parents in following her dreams.

“Other than my parents, whom I was lucky to have the support of, my core group of girlfriends also played a vital role in finding and preparing me for college. They were always there to comfort, encourage, and be the voice of reason when I needed it,” McNeely said.

From immense care and reassurance from her friends and family to kind care from her nurses, McNeely has been able to continue her dream of becoming a nurse.

McNeely’s plans for the future are substantial, and she doesn’t plan on settling for less than what she has worked for.

“In 10 years, I see myself settled down in an apartment in the city. By then, I will have a job as a pediatric nurse and continuing my education to become an anesthesiologist. Maybe I’ll be married and have kids, but I’m really in no rush to spend the rest of my life with someone,” McNeely joked.

Whether McNeely is challenging herself academically or learning how to be a better person and future nurse, she is having fun and excited to see where her hard work takes her.