The Aegis

Q&A: Harford Tech graduate who lived in a hotel while attending school looks forward to a career as a registered nurse

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As Harford Technical High School held its 44th annual commencement ceremony on June 7, Madison Bell of Aberdeen, a member of the Class of 2022, reflected on how her many hardships shaped her.

Madison and her family lived in a hotel after her mother, Antionette Bell, had a stroke in 2015 which caused her family to no longer be able to afford the mortgage on their home. Attending school while living in a hotel made her high school experience unique compared to her classmates, she said.


Madison said her experiences have taught her to embrace the process since it helps shape who you will become. The Aegis caught up with her to share her story.

Q: What were some challenges you faced as you headed toward graduation?

A: I have definitely faced some adversities while in high school, but I choose to look at them as things that have helped shape me as a person. I can definitely say that I have experienced some things that not all teens have to go through.


My family and I lived in a hotel for about a year and a half, a lot longer than any of us anticipated. Being in a hotel and not having my own space made it even more difficult.

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Meanwhile, my junior year of high school was primarily online, which only added to the obstacles that I would have to overcome. While in online school, it was a little difficult to stay focused on classes since I wasn’t in a classroom.

I mostly missed the physical interactions with my peers. It is much easier to engage in class when you have people around you. Being online felt very isolated, something that most students can relate to.

Q: How did your obstacles shape you to be the person you are today?

A: The things I have experienced the last few years have taught me to be patient and to trust in people. I have also learned to appreciate the things I have instead of focusing on things I don’t have.

Q: How was your experience at Harford Technical High School?

A: My experience at Harford Tech was overall great. Despite being online for a little over a year, I have made some great friendships and have learned some valuable lessons along the way. I feel that my experience may be a little different from other students, but that’s OK.

Q: Who helped you the most during this journey and how?

A: My parents have had a significant impact on me, as well as my counselor, Mr. Berg, who always made sure I had my head on right with everything going on. I also owe gratitude to God, who I would not be anyone without. My faith in Christ has greatly impacted my whole life, not just my high school experience.

Q: What was your motivation to finish school?

A: My motivation to finish school was my future goals. I have always wanted to enter the health profession, and being successful in school is important for this. I have always been diligent when it came to school, always working my hardest to do the best I possibly could.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I am going to Stevenson University for the nursing major. I plan to get my bachelor’s degree, become an registered nurse, and go back to school to get my master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner.

Harford Tech graduate Madison Bell proudly displays her diploma during the Harford Tech graduation ceremony at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium Tuesday, June 7, 2022.