Bekah Waldron: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... Family

Stasia Lopez's picture

Rebekah (Bekah) Waldron studied psychology at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), at the North campus, and recently graduated in May 2020. She initially started her higher education journey at West Virginia University (WVU) in 2016, but when her dad passed away, she decided to stay and be near family...which ended up being the best decision for her.  

 Bekah Waldron: #CommunityCollegeBecause...Family

How did you choose your major? What motivated you to choose that field/profession? 
I started psychology at WVU. I had an awesome AP psychology teacher in high school at North Allegheny High School (Mr. Schall) and my professors at WVU and CCAC just motivated me further. It's a really compassionate field. 

What did you enjoy about attending CCAC? Any memorable moment to share? 
I loved the community at CCAC North. I'll never forget all the friends I made in each of my classes. I didn't walk away from a single class without having a friend in there that I would go and hang out with outside of school, get coffee, or go on drives through the city. I've made some lifelong best friends in that school. 

How involved were you at CCAC? Did you study abroad? Did you have internships or Co-Ops? Clinicals and/or practicums? Were you a part of any clubs, sports, or extracurriculars?
I started as a sports writer for The Voice newspaper in the fall 2017. I quickly advanced to become the Sports Section Editor, then became Editor-in-Chief in Fall 2019 and held onto the position until my graduation in the Spring 2020. I also attended almost every open house, most of the student life fairs, helped with presentation lectures in the journalism class, and helped with tours during orientations. I attended as many student life activities as possible. Some favorites being: open mic nights, karaoke nights, and anything involving food in the atrium. I also spent time as the School’s mascot, the Wild Cat, Ace. I went on one trip to Hershey in the spring 2019 for the Keystone Awards for The Voice, and was queued to go for the Harrisburg 2020 trip, which unfortunately didn’t happen due to COVID-19. I played small parts in the Creative Arts Club as well. 


Bekah Waldron: #CommunityCollegeBecause...Family

Did any of these experiences lead you into realizing your passions for work and career? If so, how? 
Absolutely. I never EVER would have considered journalism before working for the student-run newspaper for the College, The Voice. Now, I have a part time job as a Freelance Health Journalist in a fitness app (A job they offered me after seeing my publications on my LinkedIn!). I realized it's a great platform to have in order to help publish information that people might be seeking out, and a great way to help small businesses get traction in the community. Working with student life functions helped me realize that I have a knack for leadership and that I should take more risks more often. 

What (transferable) skills did you gain that you could take into a workplace? 
Leadership, organizational skills, working under pressure, hitting deadlines, communication,, diplomacy (especially in difficult situations, as in, my coworker is doing something that's really bad for the company/group, how should I go about it?), INTERVIEWING SKILLS FOR SURE (on both ends, being interviewed and interviewing someone else), multitasking, proficiency in different office apps and especially with InDesign, and interestingly enough, how to dress and carry myself in a professional way. I also learned how to research properly, how to fact check sources and how to manage things on social media. 

What are you hoping to do next? What would you like to do professionally? 
I'm finishing out my courses at my other school (National Personal Training Institute of Pittsburgh - NPTI). Once I get my degree in Personal Fitness Training and Nutrition from there, I hope to work in a gym applying both my degrees (from CCAC and NPTI) so that I can help people find more balance and peace in their life and combat depression, anxiety, and self-image issues with body positivism and healthy lifestyle adjustments. 

Bekah Waldron: #CommunityCollegeBecause...Family

How do you manage stress (most especially during these uncertain times)? 
I go for walks in North Park. If I don't have the energy for that during my depression spells, sometimes I'll just swing by a Starbucks drive-through, order myself a small of something yummy, go to the park, and park by the dog park and watch all the dogs hang out and be happy. I also really like to go for drives, or just stay in and play XBox. Anything to give myself a breather from whatever is stressing me out so I can get back to it later with a fresh mindset. 

Bekah Waldron: #CommunityCollegeBecause...Family

What do you want prospective college students to know—what advice do you have for them? 
If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you. And no one wants to be stuck in the same spot and never grow their whole life. That's not living, that's surviving. Take the risks, because when they pay off, there's nothing better. Even your comfort zone pales in comparison.

Bekah Waldron: #CommunityCollegeBecause...Family

Who inspires you and why? Do you have any mentors or people of influence in your life? 
A few, depending on the area of life I need inspiration for. My 3 older brothers inspire me with their work ethic. Rob Velella has been my mentor for a while, with how to handle tough situations and keep on trucking through things and just be the best version of myself and keep trying. My mom inspires me to take all of life's crap and smile through it even on the worst days. 

Anything else you’d like for us to know? 
I've grown so much, and CCAC prepared me for aspects of life that I would never have gotten if I never went there. I'm going to miss it so much but I also know I'll be that old lady telling her grand kids about the awesome people I met in college and how I was Editor-in-Chief of an award-winning newspaper. 

Bekah Waldron: #CommunityCollegeBecause...Family



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Stasia Lopez is the Global Education Editor for Wandering Educators and is also a Director of Career Services at the Community College of Allegheny County. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Michigan University in 2013 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Robert Morris University. Stasia is passionate about international education, travel, college to career topics and loves working on a college campus. She’s lived in four different U.S. states (Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania) and also studied and lived abroad in Rome, Italy. Stasia lives in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Fernando, precious daughter, Maya, and playful kitty-cat Zorro.