Ellie Reavis | Faces of Midland
Senior Ellie Reavis often thinks about her hometown of Newman Lake, Washington, a tiny town outside Spokane. She remembers it fondly, but she knew early on she was not going to be a part of the number that grew up there and stayed. Ellie considers the opportunities that came her way and stands by the courage she had to embrace them.
Compared to many students, Ellie took an untraditional path to Midland. Growing up, Ellie fell in love with dance at an early age. Her mom was a dance studio owner, and she latched on to dance, developing a passion for the art form. That passion led to an opportunity with the Young Americans performing arts program.
“I think that my life could have gone a hundred different ways. But when I got that opportunity, my gut feeling said this was the place I had to be. I had to listen to it, and thank God I did. I thank God I wasn’t scared or worried too much about money or other things that can really hold someone back, but instead, I just jumped two feet in. Everything is temporary, and I think a lot of us learned that during the pandemic and post-pandemic. Life is about seizing the day; it’s now or never, and if you hate it, that’s OK, leave and try something new.”
The Young Americans took Ellie around the world, allowing her to share her passion with many new people and perspectives. After coming home during the pandemic, Ellie found herself searching for the next opportunity. Then she was approached by Midland.
“With Young Americans, I was able to visit Midland’s campus as part of a summer camp. One thing led to another, and when I went home from Japan because of the pandemic, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t have a plan, and Midland reached out and approached me about going back to school. I was interested, and the dance coach at the time invited me for a weekend visit. I auditioned for a scholarship and signed that same weekend I was here.”
Ellie has strived to be a positive presence wherever she’s at on campus. Being a nontraditional student, she hopes that she can use her unique experience to be a place of support for her peers, whether as a member of the dance team or a classmate.
“I don’t accept negative energy around me. You can make the choice of whether you want to take in that negative energy or create your own energy. One of my favorite books is The Coffee Bean, which talks about how different things are affected by boiling water. You put an egg in boiling water, and the shell hardens, and it becomes a hard-boiled egg, and that’s like letting its environment harden itself. Then you put a carrot in water, and it gets mushy, and it dissolves into its environment until it’s no longer itself. With a coffee bean, you put it in water, and it creates something brand new and makes a cup of coffee. I feel like I always want to be a coffee bean. I want to be someone who walks into a room and creates positive energy or creates a mood shift and adds to a room.”
One of the ways Ellie tries to support those around her is by encouraging them to embrace opportunities that come their way. For Ellie, it is all about being willing and excited to take that leap and not be afraid to pivot from something that you thought was already figured out.
“I wasn’t planning on going back to school for communications or digital marketing, and now that’s what I’m going into post-graduation. If you had asked me four years ago what my plan was, I was going to open a dance studio of my own. When an opportunity knocks at your door, let it in, no matter what. You can always change your mind. There’s no choice that you’re going to make that you can’t turn into something else. There are choices you can’t change, but there’s nothing that you can’t turn into something really magical.”