Student silhouette: Allena McCloud, SGA Vice President An optimistic leader who is grateful for her life’s journey 

In Download Live Wire, HACC News, Profiles, Students by Travis Hannegan

The lessons Allena McCloud, vice president of the Lancaster campus SGA, learned working in the student government and at the leadership series helped her to better understand the needs of campus clubs. The forms and paperwork required to function in the school bureaucracy can be challenging to fill out even for experienced people, made worse by the frequent turnaround of club leadership. Instead of getting frustrated, McCloud put together a binder to clearly explain how to complete the paperwork.

“Allena was very knowledgeable at the beginning. In the past months she has grown as a team player and motivator of the SGA,” George Brown, president of the SGA said, praising Allena for her “willingness to share her knowledge with a great attitude.”

Just 20 years old, McCloud, already has a record of leadership and management. While looking for a job with the Office of Student Development, she became the secretary of the International Club. After helping to plan and organize several successful events, she took over as the treasurer of the SGA at the request of the president at the time.

She has been the vice president since the fall of 2016. George Brown has worked with her for a year and appreciates her hard work, dedication and her knowledge of government rules and procedures.

“George has been fun to work with, as have all my board members,” McCloud said. “We have all grown a lot together.”

SGA Vice President, Allena McCloud

Her highest praise is for Monica Dixon-Howard, the campus director of student development and multi-cultural programming, who she calls the “kindest human being” who will “stop everything she’s doing to provide a student with the attention they need.”

“Monica has taught me how to accept the work I do, even if you feel unappreciated and not to take everything in life so seriously because you don’t want to lose passion for what you do,” McCloud said. “When you take stuff to seriously you miss out on all the great things happening around you.”

She started in the School District of Lancaster, before moving to Manheim Township in third grade, graduating from Township High School in 2014.

She said of her experience at Manheim Township, a school district that was four only percent African-American when she attended, now listed at five percent.

“Being in a district that is not diverse, you learn to appreciate your culture, you learn to accept other cultures and you learn to be very open to everyone.”

McCloud comes from a family of educators. Her father works as an athletic director, first at McCaskey High School and now in Reading. One of her uncles taught at Reynolds Middle School, and now teaches history at McCaskey. Another uncle, now retired, worked as a special education teacher, also for McCaskey.

Like most students, she had a lot of great teachers but remembered one negative experience with a guidance counselor who asked if she was “even” planning to go to college.

As she does, McCloud is quick to see to the positive, and is grateful for how her experiences shaped herself and her beliefs.

McCloud graduated and did go to a four-year institution, the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania about an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh. A mining area with a lot of woods is how McCloud described the campus.

She was at Pitt-Johnstown for a year, where she threw discuss, javelin, shot and hammer for the track team, as she did in high school.

Unfortunately, she got sick at the end of her freshman year and said to herself, “I want to go home and get myself well and then tackle college again.”

While recovering at home, McCloud became interested in HACC. She began studying nursing, but a sudden change in the requirements left her one class short of applying for the program.

“I found health care management,” she said. “I was good at math, accounting and business; loved anatomy and physiology, and I could morph my math brain with my interest for science together and major!”

McCloud has been a swim instructor at the Lancaster YMCA for the past three years. She is currently a health care management major and this will be her final semester at HACC. She was accepted into East Stroudsburg and Penn State, but will be attending West Chester this fall to complete her health care management degree.

McCloud plans to use her degree to become a children public health worker. “Meaning I make sure that all the environments they attend are safe,” she said.

She wants to continue to use her knowledge and leadership to serve her community.