Natalie Breland, a native of Perkinston, grew up down the street from MGCCC’s Perkinston Campus. She said she remembers visits to the campus on Halloween and for theater productions while she was in elementary school. “Attending the elementary school across from the college, I was so aware of the big school of blue and gold,” she said. “The energy of the college community, the support, tradition and spirit I witnessed there were just undeniable. I knew then that it was a place I wanted to go.”
Growing up near the college, I fell in love with the Big Blue and Gold. By the time I was a senior in high school, I knew in my heart that I was destined to be a part of the Bulldog family.
Now a sophomore at the Perkinston Campus, Breland is involved in the Student Government Association and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was on the 2017 Homecoming Court. She is also captain of the Perkette Dance Team, the activity of which she is most proud.
“I have always had a passion for dance and the artistic expression it promotes,” she said. “I have always admired the Perkettes not only for their collegiate image, but the diversity and multitude of styles they bring to every performance. From hip-hop to field shows, the Perkettes do it all.”
Being a member of the team is no easy task. It requires hours of dedicated practice. “Between 7 a.m. technique classes, afternoon rehearsals, competition-choreography weekends and game-day performances, I spend at least 16 hours a week devoted to the dance team,” she said. “Within these hours, the most rewarding thing is the idea that the hard work is dedicated to something bigger than myself. I’m getting to add myself to the legacy created by so many dancers before and after me. That’s an amazing feeling.”
A journalism and broadcasting major, Breland plans to attend university out of state. She said she appreciates the time she has had to plan her future while also getting her core classes completed at MGCCC. “Attending Gulf Coast has allowed me to make these life-changing decisions with my full attention and the love and support of both my home family and my MGCCC family. I wouldn’t have been given that same opportunity if I had opted to immediately attend a university. I feel very lucky to have had many opportunities at Gulf Coast.”