Mackenzie Moody: Young women can be heroes, too

Mackenzie Moody (Our York Media)

Many kids want to follow in their parents’ footsteps. For 17-year-old Mackenzie Moody, those footsteps put her on a slightly nontraditional path. 

She may seem like your everyday teenager – she plays sports, volunteers, works part time – but she’s found her passion in showing that young women can be heroes, too. Specifically, she’s a junior firefighter with West Manchester Township and plans to join the 193rd Special Operations Wing of the Pa. Air National Guard. 

She found her inspiration in her stepdad, Scott Little, who serves as an assistant fire chief at Fort Detrick in Maryland and was also a junior firefighter. 

And even though she excels in the firehouse, she still finds men can overlook female firefighters. So, she just strives to be better. 

“I lift more weights to make myself stronger. I go through more training, get more certifications, further my knowledge, so I can be the first to say, ‘Hey, this is the answer’.”

“Men think they’re better than you, strength-wise, or they’ll ask a guy to get something for them when you’re right there,” she says. “So, I lift more weights to make myself stronger. I go through more training, get more certifications, further my knowledge, so I can be the first to say, ‘Hey, this is the answer’ or ‘I can help you with that.’” 

Mackenzie is also known at her job at Mission BBQ for being the first to thank military customers for their service, and it’s something else Scott has inspired. 

“I was taught as a little child that if someone is wearing an Air Force hat, they’re most likely in the Air Force, and you want to thank them for that,” she says. 

Now, when she’s serving customers, she seeks out those who made a commitment she hopes to give, too. 

“Not everyone can see it, but with my dad being in the military as well, I know their stature, how they act, their clothes,” Mackenzie says. “You just have to look for the signs. Someday, I’ll be on the other side.” 

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