The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

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Featured Alumni: Kaelynn Yoder

Photo courtesy of Kaelynn Behrens
Kae;lynn (Behrens) Yoder, was en editor for the BluePrint during one of its most successful run. She was also one of the creators of a YouTube series called Forgotten Bellwood.

Kaelynn (Behrens) Yoder graduated from Bellwood-Antis in 2019, and was involved in BluePrint for four years.

Her time in BluePrint coincided with the years she spent in Bellwood after transferring to town for high school in 2015, and she shaped the publication almost as much as the publication shaped her.

After Bellwood-Antis, Yoder attended Penn State Altoona to get her Bachelor of Science in Business. Her specific major was business with a focus in management and marketing and a minor in entrepreneurship.

Upon graduating, she started her own marketing company, Mission Yellow Marketing. She recently started a career in content coordination and development with a law publication.

Kaelynn (Behrens) Yoder (right) and Mya Decker were a part of several award-winning BluePrint publications, including four that earned SNO Distinguished Site awards.

Yoder currently lives in New York with her husband and a new puppy.

Yoder’s family moved to Bellwood from Harrisburg before her freshman year, which was a large culture shock.

“It was pretty intimidating, and I never felt like I had a place in the school,” stated Yoder. That is until she had her first English class with Mr. Kerry Naylor and learned about the BluePrint.

She joined the newspaper that year as a Multimedia Editor and Staff Writer, and quickly bonded with one particular student, Sidney Patterson, whom Yoder stated was a big reason she made it through her first year in Bellwood.

“Over time, I learned to really appreciate the lifestyle Bellwood provided me,” commented Yoder.

By her junior year, Yoder was Editor in Chief and worked closely with Maya Roberts, who was the Multimedia Editor of the time. It began as a rocky relationship, but quickly grew into one of the most productive teams in the online publication’s 10-year history.

“Mya and I didn’t always see eye to eye on a lot of things, but over time we realized that our brains didn’t work all that differently,” commented Yoder.

During their senior year, Yoder and Roberts wee named the first co-editors for the website. “It’s amazing to look back at that time and really see how two girls who were not even close to being friends became co-editors, best friends, and now consider each other family,” said Yoder. “BluePrint gave me a lot over the years, but the best thing it ever gave me was my girl Mya.”

When looking back on how BluePrint impacted her high school experience, Yoder said that it was her life in high school and the best thing that could have happened to her. As a staff writer, she wrote all sorts of articles from deep dives on epipens to student spotlights. Her role as the Multimedia Editor led her to taking charge of editing and directing all of the video material for the website, and she even had her own show “College Corner“.

In the end, as the Editor in Chief, Yoder said she did a little bit of everything. “I helped others get their projects taken care of, did my own projects, and tried my best to lead the team that put their trust in me.”

During her BluePrint career, Yoder won one Best of SNO  award  as well as numerous top finishes at statewide contests like the Keystone Media Awards and the Pa. Press Club awards. She was also a big part of the reason that the website was named the top student website in Pennsylvania two years in a row in 2017 and 2018.

BluePrint gave me a lot over the years, but the best thing it ever gave me was my girl Mya.

— Kaelynn Yoder

Above all of her awards and recognition, her proudest accomplishment was creating the video series “Forgotten Bellwood” with Roberts, which she states Roberts and her still continue to reminisce about.

“Forgotten Bellwood was something that no one else was doing or even thinking about,” stated Yoder. The series gave students, teachers, parents, and Bellwood residents the opportunity to explore all of the unique things about the high school that had been lost in time. Some of the installments went as long as 15 minutes. Most were around 10, but they explored places in the school many students never knew had existed, like the basement and a hidden classroom in the auditorium.

Yoder stated that officer Tim Mercer, a security guard at the school district, was a big help with the series, and they would not have been able to do it without him.

“The three of us had the best time creating that series,” said Yoder. “To this day, it is still one of the things I am most proud of.”

Mr. Naylor said Forgotten Bellwood was an opportunity to let Yoder and Roberts shine in their own spotlight.

“That was a situation where I just gave them the platform and got out of the way,” Mr. Naylor said. “Normally, they would give me the topic they were working on and I would say, ‘OK’ and then we wouldn’t talk about it until they showed me the final draft. The worst thing I could have done was overstep and ruin their creativity.

“But that was how Kaelynn was. She always had unique ideas that no one had thought of before, and she made them standards for how to do things. Even with the call sign most of our social media and news videos use – ‘What’s up Bellwood?’ That came from Kaelynn.”

While working in journalism during high school taught her writing and editing skills, BluePrint truly began the process of developing Yoder’s communication skills and self confidence.

“Everything recently came full circle when I got hired to be a content developer for an esteemed law publication,” said Yoder. Her new job includes conducting interviews of the potential features, and beginning to draft angles for the stories. Although she did not go to college for journalism, she is very happy that she still gets to use it in her life.

Some of Yoder’s favorite memories from BluePrint include sitting in the computer lab conversing with everyone about their current projects. “It’s crazy how when life moves on, you begin to miss the littlest things,” she said.

Out of all her memories, however, one that sticks out was the filming of The Glass Hallway episode for Forgotten Bellwood. Yoder stated she loved the experience of filming the series because she and Mya got the opportunity to learn new things along with everyone else who was watching.

“Tim blew our minds with this one, and I’m pretty sure we blew everyone else’s minds when we posted it,” commented Yoder. “There wasn’t an episode where Mya and I didn’t lose our minds over something Tim said.”

Yoder hopes to eventually have a house somewhere in “nowhere Pennsylvania” to start a family with her husband. She plans to continue her small business and move up within the company she works in now for journalism.

Yoder feels she has been blessed to receive everything she needed to be successful from her education and connections.

“I am really proud of all I have achieved professionally, and I owe the thanks for that to the amazing teachers at Bellwood-Antis and also to my professors at Penn State Altoona,” stated Yoder.

Mr. Naylor said the presence of students like Yoder is still evident now, as the BluePrint celebrates its 10th year as an online newspaper.

“She set the bar high, and not only for herself,” he said. “She was a workhorse and she expected and demanded that from everyone else. Kaelynn never asked anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. She wasn’t afraid to tell people to step it up. We have benefitted so much from Kaelynn and people like her, it’s hard to imagine we’d be where we are today without her contributions.”


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