Local senior runs for national office

McKayla Smith at this year’s National Beta Convention

McKayla Smith

Manchester High School senior McKayla Smith may already belong to upwards of a dozen groups and organizations, but that wasn’t quite enough for her.

Smith, who is already the secretary at the state level for the National Beta Club just returned from a trip to Nashville, Tenn. where she ran for the same position at the national level.

The NBC describes itself as “the largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization in America,” and focuses heavily on volunteer activities for their members to benefit their communities.

“Beta is a scholarship organization kind of like National Honor Society except you don’t have to have the grades to get into it,” Smith said. “We do canned food drives, we go and play games with those in the nursing home, we take them Christmas shopping also, so we do different things to help the community out.”

This year’s National Beta Convention was apparently the largest national convention the organization has ever had, with over 8,000 people attending. Smith was one of 14 people campaigning for a spot as the NBC secretary for the national level.

“I had to give a two minute speech and then you had to do a 30-second skit that only members from your school could participate in. You weren’t allowed to be in it,” Smith said. “So my campaign was ‘”It’s no myth, vote for Smith!”

Smith’s group of nine friends who went along for the convention put together a skit where students came out as different myths such as the Tooth Fairy, Santa and Bigfoot along with signs and posters in support of Smith, but some other schools brought the heavy artillery, bringing over 200 people in support of their candidates.

“With the people I was going against from other states you could tell I was from a small state and small community because they were coming out there with like full on musicals on stage, like a Broadway performance,” Smith said. “I just had these little signs and posters that said “It’s no myth, vote for Smith.”

With the way voting works, everyone in attendance was able to vote, leaving Smith with an obvious disadvantage against schools and states who had hundreds of supporters of their local candidates.

“I only had nine people with me and those people are going to support their school or their state,” Smith said.

Despite the setback, Smith is still the secretary at the state level, and plans to grow the organization during her tenure.

“The state convention in Louisiana is even bigger than the national convention while Ohio’s has maybe 300 people,” Smith said. “I want to grow Beta and get more people talking about it. We need more positive people from Ohio and around us and I would recommend Beta to anyone in high school. It’s so awesome to help and meet people.”

Smith plans to travel to schools around the state to garner interest in NBC but will have to do that while she’s not also participating in her list of seemingly endless other groups and organizations she is a part of.

Smith is a candidate for this year’s Adams County Junior Fair Queen, a graduate of the youth program of Leadership Adams, National Honor Society and Future Farmers of America where she is showing pigs and rabbits in this year’s fair.

In addition to all that, Smith is a member of the Manchester High School cheerleading, volleyball and track teams and has earned enough credits already at Southern State Community College that by the time she sets foot on a college campus, where she plans on earning a law degree, she’ll already be a junior.

It’s no myth, those plans could very easily come to fruition.