#MCCGrads2016: For Bell family, three kids and three MCC diplomas

MCC-Longview President Dr. Kirk Nooks presents Josiah Bell with a certificate of recognition for Bell’s service as a Longview Presidential Fellow. These specially selected students represent the campus at functions, give tours to community guests and provide student feedback to Dr. Nooks.
MCC-Longview President Dr. Kirk Nooks presents Josiah Bell with a certificate of recognition for Bell’s service as a Longview Presidential Fellow. These specially selected students represent the campus at functions, give tours to community guests and provide student feedback to Dr. Nooks.

The email read: “Thank you to the Longview Administration, Faculty and Staff for being such an important part of our children’s educational journey! We are so grateful for the investment you made in each of their lives.” It was signed “The Bell Family.”

After May 12, three Bell children will have walked across the stage to pick up their MCC diplomas. Mom Becky Bell couldn’t be more thrilled. “I can’t tell you how much it’s meant to my family,” she says.

Becky was so appreciative, she recently provided cake to the entire behind-the-scenes forces at MCC-Longview. What’s more, she plans on continuing to give back to the college. More on that later.

Becky’s youngest son, Josiah, was the third of her children to enroll at MCC-Longview. For the past nine years, at least one of the Bell kids has been in an MCC classroom. Josiah is graduating this year.

“Rigorous coursework, very involved instructors, and the support services are just stellar,” Becky says. Those are the MCC attributes she says made it possible for her clan to finish college.

Becky homeschooled her kids. Josiah was 15 when he took his first MCC class. Smart kid? Yes. Now 19, Josiah has been active on campus since he began serving as a College 100 peer leader. He also served as a Presidential Fellow and a Writing Studio tutor.

This year, he was the president of True Colors, the LGBTQIA club on campus. Josiah wants to pursue a teaching career and possibly work toward a position in community college administration, focusing on student success.

Becky and husband Dennis’ two older children are already MCC graduates. Her oldest, Lilly Bell Gall, started off at MCC-Longview but ended up finishing her coursework at MCC-Penn Valley.

A little romantic twist to the family history there. Lilly met her husband-to-be, Benjamin Gall, at college. Lilly graduated from Penn Valley in 2011, Benjamin in 2014. Middle child David Bell graduated from MCC-Longview in 2012.

Becky says all the Bell children are doing well. Josiah plans to transfer to Rockhurst University.

cake
The Bell family says “thank you” with cake.

But here is where the story comes full circle. Becky works part time at Longview in disability support services. She is back in graduate school, thanks in part to the encouragement of MCC administrators.

“It’s so supportive, the whole MCC family, including in the higher administration. I just don’t know where you find that in any any other institution.” She says Longview Dean of Instruction Mindy McCallum connected her to Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michel Hillman and, taking their advice, has returned to class herself.

Becky ultimately wants to teach at MCC. “I want to invest in students and he there for them,” she says.

In addition to the cake, the Bell family also made a donation to the MCC Foundation’s Longview Emergency Student and Book Fund.

Josiah got a big hug from Dr. Nooks at MCC's commencement May 12.
Josiah got a big hug from Dr. Nooks at MCC’s commencement May 12.