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PTK Vice President Encourages Others to Expand Their Horizons

February, 2020
  • From left: PTK Vice President Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick and PTK alumna Kim Lawrence
    From left: PTK Vice President Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick and PTK alumna Kim Lawrence

Mixhe Bedrick Named Newman Civic Fellow

Every once in a while you meet a person who is motivated to better not only themselves, but work for the betterment of others. Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Vice President Krystle “Mixhe” Bedrick is one such person. The QCC sophomore is set to graduate in May and has already been making a name for herself in the Worcester community, as well as the QCC community.  She was recently named a Newman Civic Fellow. This is a one-year fellowship experience for community-minded students, which supports the student’s personal, professional and civic development. This is the first time a QCC student was recommended for this fellowship. Each student is required to have his/her own mentor, a stipulation of the Newman Civic Fellowship. PTK alumna Kim Lawrence was asked and agreed to be Ms. Bedrick's mentor.

“It’s an honor giving back to anyone and it’s a privilege to give back to PTK,” Ms. Lawrence said.

"We are incredibly proud of Mixhe and the amazing accomplishments she has achieved. She has faced adversities in her life, but has never let those stand in the way of a brighter future," QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja said. "She is a shining example for others." 

Ms. Bedrick was also recently chosen as a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and is one of 456 finalists, chosen from over 1,500 applicant from across the nation. Winners for the award will be announced in April.

Ms. Bedrick attributes much of what she has accomplished at QCC to being an active member of the PTK, QCC's honor society.

“Phi Theta Kappa has been the platform that has lifted me up. As a person with many intersecting marginalized identities, it has been difficult to find success. My membership, outside of marrying my spouse and having children, has been the most challenging but fulfilling part of my life,” Ms. Bedrick said.” I have always enjoyed being a student and learning, but Phi Theta Kappa gave me the opportunity to be part of something greater, a global consciousness that is focused on improving the lives of all people. My life is changed for the better, and I will be forever grateful.”

Ms. Bedrick said it was the invitation to join PTK that was the catalyst for change within her life.

“It's difficult to say everything I feel for Phi Theta Kappa. I was extended an invitation to join the Honor Society and was thrilled, and then, melancholy. I knew that I did not have the money to pay for the membership fee, but still felt compelled to follow through. When I walked into the PTK office I told the advisors that I did not have the money to join, but still very much wanted to be a part of the organization. I said something to the effect of, "If this is for me, then it will be.”

Being part of PTK was "meant to be" for Ms. Bedrick, who was offered a scholarship to cover the cost of membership and encouraged to run for an officer position.

“I felt elated. I felt seen. PTK was already taking the time to tell me that I am deserving, and that made me feel welcomed. I found a place to grow as a leader as I was elected as Vice President of Leadership after coming in second in the race for the presidency,” she said.

The officer position offered Ms. Bedrick opportunities to expand her horizon and broadened her experience academia.

“The research that I have participated in has spurred my advocacy and activism. It is because of what we discovered during research that pushed me into my civic engagement. I have been active in advocating for transportation equity in my community, as a way to combat poverty and systemic oppression. Phi Theta Kappa opened the door for me to be able to become a voice for my community. It has given me the foundation and backing to be taken seriously as a student advocate,” she said.

Today Ms. Bedrick sits on the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) Board as a representative for the QCC population, working to help reduce fare rates for all college students, as well as working to get public transportation closer to those who are incarcerated in the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction.

“Currently the closest WRTA stop is 1.7 miles away,” she said, noting that studies have shown that visitation helps to reduce recidivism.

The next group of PTK officers will soon be elected and Ms. Bedrick wants to encourage others to take a chance and run for office.

“My membership, plainly stated, has changed the trajectory of my life forever. The opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of, the accolades, achievements and scholarships I have received, and the networking connections that I have made have all come from being active in my Chapter,” she said. “I am the first person in my family to attend college. I will be the first to graduate, and I'm slated to transfer to an Ivy League institution, something I never thought possible before joining PTK.”

For more information, visit Phi Theta Kappa.