By Shirley Shuman
Kendall Bender, ranked ninth among this year’s BCHS graduates, expressed appreciation for her teachers as a response to the question of what had the biggest effect on her during her high school career. “It has been the teachers,” she replied, “Our teachers want us to succeed as much as we want to succeed,” she added, emphasizing how important that has been for her.
The senior named two favorite teachers—Jerry Frame and Mackinzie Helmick. “Mr. Frame relates well to his students while still making sure they learn,” she noted. “Mrs. Helmick is very relatable and down to earth, always ready to help those who need it.”
Among her school activities, Bender has had four years as varsity cheerleader and has played softball two years. She also has been active in student council and is a member of the local chapter of the National Honor Society. All of these have been important, but Bender added that she couldn’t be more thankful for the memories she has made throughout high school Outside of school, she enjoys going to church, being outside and activities like swimming in the summer and being with friends and family.
After graduation, the daughter of Matthew Bender and Pamela Foley plans to enter Carlow University in Pittsburgh to obtain a degree in what many may regard as unusual. She plans to study cardiovascular profusion and will attend Carlow because it has one of only 18 programs featuring this major in the entire nation. Asked for an explanation of her major/career, Bender said, “My job will be to run the heart and lung bypass machine during open heart surgery. “
She continued to explain how she learned of this opportunity and why she chose it. “My mom is a nurse, and she learned about the machine from several surgical nurses. She told me about it, I researched it and decided to try it,” she said. “I wanted a career in the medical field, but I didn’t want to be a nurse, and I didn’t want to spend eight or nine years to become a doctor. This program takes nine semesters of college work. I will apply for an internship my junior year,” she added.
Kendall Bender obviously knows what she wants in life, and she apparently has the dedication and work ethic to achieve that.