Updated: May 4, 2014 at 10:29 am
This is the 14th of 20 profiles about The Gazette's Best and Brightest Class of 2014.
For more than 50 years Alice McBroom's grandmother had been confined to a wheelchair, but that didn't limit the bond the two shared; it may have made it stronger.
McBroom said her grandmother, a quadriplegic dependent on others, was "the most amazing woman I ever met. She inspired everyone who knew her. She always had a smile and loved to laugh. There wasn't a day that went by that she wasn't smiling and laughing. She taught me to live every day to its fullest."
Last November, her grandmother died, but McBroom said she feels her presence every day.
"My mom is exactly the same way, she's an incredible person," she said. "I'm very lucky to have my mom and to have had my grandmother. They are a big part of who I am."
The influences of the women in her life have not only taught McBroom the power of a positive attitude, but also the importance of helping others.
She has served on student council all four of her years at Pine Creek High School and has been involved in the school's fundraising efforts for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, Ronald McDonald House Charities and food drives for Care and Share. Before school started last August, McBroom helped the high school organize a dinner to help students whose families had lost their homes in the Black Forest fire.
During the Waldo Canyon fire the previous summer, McBroom and her family were riveted by the local news.
"We weren't close enough to be affected, but I was really worried about those who were," she said. "The newscasters kept us updated and I felt like they really cared about our community. They were lifelines."
From that experience, McBroom said she realized the important role of broadcast journalism and decided that's the career she wants to pursue.
"I feel so lucky to be blessed with the life I have," she said. "It's important to me to give something back. I feel my life is meant to help others find happiness and that will make me happy."