by Meret Patrenos
In light of the success of GCC’s volleyball team rising to the top as winners of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Volleyball Championship title, this year’s MVP is continuing her journey in athletics as well as art.
“Volleyball is a passion of mine and always has been. Having the opportunity to go to practice everyday and continuously see my skills improve is so exciting. And there’s nothing like the feeling of winning a match,” said Kourtney Beck.
Beck has been playing volleyball for eight years, and played as outside hitter for GCC this season.
The winter semester ended with the volleyball team earning the NJCAA title, and this semester will end with Beck getting her associate degree in fine art.
“I have always loved acrylic paints. However, being able to take such a variety of art classes at Glendale has really excited me about all different kinds of mediums,” Beck said.
Beck plans to take her artistic skills to the University of West Florida after completing her AA at GCC.
Having earned an athletic scholarship as well as an academic scholarship for UWF Beck is studying fine art but hasn’t decided yet if she wants to specify in painting or drawing yet.
Beck said it is difficult balancing creativity with school and athletics.
“It’s tough. I’m taking 21 credits, planning a wedding, and doing my offseason responsibilities. It’s tough, but I work really hard to stay organized and not get overwhelmed. I put 100 percent into everything I do so at the end of the day I’m usually exhausted, but I think every second is worth it,” Beck said.
When asked if she identified more as an athlete or an artist Beck said she can’t choose.
“I can’t pick one. They are both such a huge part of who I am,” Beck said.
As Beck prepares to take her athletic and artistic skills to a university, she said her family has been supportive.
“They are and always have been supportive. My great grandpa was a professional painter so creativity and art kind of runs in the family And both of my parents were athletes. My dad played professional baseball for the Oakland A’s so [we] were raised to be athletes. We are all very competitive,” Beck said.
Beck plans to continuet pursuing her artistic talents as well as sports.