McKenna’s Story

Posted by in Contributor Biographies


Hey everyone, I am McKenna, an 18-year-old freshmen at East Carolina University. I am from a little town outside of Winston Salem, North Carolina called Rural Hall where I was born and raised. I am diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. So far my major is undecided, but I know I want to serve students with special needs in some way, which has always been my life goal and my motivation to do well in school.

Early in elementary school my teachers suspected the possibility I had a learning difference and suggested that my parents peruse further testing. They followed this advice, and the testing revealed that I had ADD and dyslexia. After this discovery many education professionals told me I would never make it into a four-year university. As a young girl I took that to heart and didn’t desire any aspect of school. It was not until high school that I overcame my struggles, and who knew it would only take one person to tell me college was an option. My wonderful high school adviser helped me find different opportunities for college such as community college programs and university programs like Project STEPP at East Carolina University. Community college never was appealing to me so I took the opportunity to be a part of Project STEPP. Now, STEPP is helping me be successful in every aspect of school and is giving me the opportunity to develop more ambitious life goals. So far at ECU, I received an award from the College of Arts and Science for having a strong GPA my first semester and an invitation to join The National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Outside of school my hobbies consist of enjoying the outdoors, embracing the lake life and simply hanging out with my family and friends. It is hard to balance schoolwork and being able to enjoy hobbies as well. One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to jump in my car and go places. I am a very active person, and I love to explore new aspects of the world I haven’t been exposed to yet. Basically, I am always on the lookout for an adventure. My favorite place to be is anywhere near water: a lake, the beach, or even a river. At these calming, insightful places is where I can clear my head, get away from reality and take in the natural world.