This article was written by Senior, Tegan O’Donnell who is in the Journalism class. This article was written as part of the “New Faces” series that recognizes new staff members to the U32 Community.
When Mahala Largent was in high school, she was on a dance team called “Teen Two-Step” that traveled to different countries to perform. They stayed with host families for two weeks at a time to learn about the cultures of the countries.
One time, Mahala arrived in Russia to find that her host family had no hot water. They bought a roll of toilet paper just for her visit! Experiences like these showed her how different her own culture was compared to other countries’.
“It helped open my eyes to life outside the US and helped me be grateful for the many things we assume are just part of everyday life,” Mahala said. “Like toilet paper.”
This is a photo of Mahala on stage in Russia, getting ready to perform a folk dance medley. She is the girl in the picture on the left of the circle.
Mahala Largent is U-32’s newest school nurse. She started her career with a job that involved both nursing and teaching. Then, she went into medical case management, and eventually continued into nursing education, which brought her to U-32. Mahala has a goal to combine nursing with teaching at her job here.
Largent grew up in Fairfield, Vermont and attended Fair Haven Union High School, a high school smaller than U-32.
In high school, she played the flute and the alto saxophone, and was the baton twirler in the school’s marching band. Once, her marching band was marching in a parade at the Big E in Massachusetts.
“It was pouring rain, and the whole marching band had all these heavy uniforms,” Mahala recalled, “and my baton was so slippery, and my hands were so cold that they were numb.” She feared that the baton would go flying out of her hands and hit someone in the crowd.
Mahala went to college for performing in theater arts. After graduating, she started a family. But soon realized that she wanted to go back to school to become a nurse because healthcare had always fascinated Mahala ever since she was four or five years old.
She pushed it off for a while, promising herself that she would get to it at some point. “There’s always going to be something happening in my life and there’s always going to be some excuse why I can’t do it,” Mahala remembers thinking to herself. “I just have to learn to balance all the things in my life.”
Mahala went back to school to finally pursue nursing. For a while, she felt overwhelmed having to juggle her family and kids while becoming a nurse, but she learned how to balance her life.
“The fear of failure just sort of went away,” she said, “and I had this epiphany that I could do this, I could do it, I just needed to make it happen.”