By Joni Kirk, Mill Creek Director of Communications and Marketing.
At their regular February 27, 2018, meeting the Mill Creek City Council selected high school student Mackenzie Ryan as the city's nominee for a $1,000 Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Center for Quality Communities scholarship.
Ryan is now in the running for one of six AWC statewide scholarships that are awarded at the annual AWC conference in June.
Ryan, who attends Archbishop Murphy High School, is the daughter of Michelle Ryan of Mill Creek.
As Mill Creek’s nominee, Ryan will receive a $500 scholarship from the City toward educational expenses at a college or university. The check will be awarded at the May 22nd City Council meeting.
While a student at Archbishop Murphy, Ryan has been on the honor roll for all four years of her academic career and participated in multiple sports, including captain of the cross country team for two years. She is a member of DECA, the Senior Student Council and the National Honor Society, being elected a National Honor Society Officer this year. Her activities outside of school include working at the Mill Creek YMCA and the Everett Aquasox Baseball Club, and she volunteers with Special Olympics of Washington.
When asked about the qualities of leadership, Ryan replied, “A leader is simply defined as someone who sets examples for others through both the hard times and the terrific ones.”
As an example of a significant community responsibility that she assumed, Ryan described the passing of a friend, classmate and cross country teammate. She shared the importance of setting aside her emotions to lead her classmates to turn their grief into inspiration and continue competing in honor of their teammate. At the time of her friend’s passing, she created a visual memorial that her cross country team took with them to their district track meet. In the time since then, Ryan has continued to remember the anniversary of her friend’s passing with an annual prayer service, and to share the legacy of selflessness and positivity that she learned from her friend.
She plans to attend the University of Portland on a merit scholarship, where she will study biology and pursue a career as a physician’s assistan