“To me, family is someone that has unconditional love.”
If asked, I think most people would agree that being close to family is a key part of anyone’s life. Despite the frustration you get when your little brother or sister makes you late for school in the morning, most people would love to share the experience of getting to go to school with their siblings. Well, for junior Copeland Frazee, her experience is shared by much more than just her siblings.
The Frazee’s love for Maclay is immense as Frazee has two family members in administration, an aunt who teachers in the lower school, an uncle who teaches in the upper school, three cousins in middle school, four cousins in lower school and one cousin in upper school as well as her brother who graduated with the class of 2022. Frazee’s grandfather, who has five kids, all went to Maclay as well as her dad’s siblings.
“I think it’s [ going to school with my family] been really nice,” Frazee said. “Again, Maclay is one school so I get to see my little cousins walking around which is super fun because they run and give me hugs. It was super fun having my brother here because we would ride to school together, but now I get to drive my little cousin to school, so it’s kinda cool to see the transition.”
Not only does she get to see her family’s faces walking around the campus, but Frazee gets the opportunity to be taught by her uncle, Coleman Mackie, where she takes his Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS) class.
“It’s super nice because my uncle is my teacher and I’m in his PBS class,” Frazee said. “Sometimes it’s weird because I will call him Coleman and we will talk about family stuff, but I like it because if I am having problems then I can just walk to his house and get him to help me because he lives right next to me.”
As Mackie is one of Frazee’s teachers, their relationship is different than some of her other family members at Maclay.
“It’s been a very unique experience,” Mackie said. “ I’ve got to see Copeland grow up since she was a little baby and having that social and family interaction with her is super special. In our working relationship, it’s been really impressive to see how hard she works as a student, how much she cares about her education and how willing she is to go the extra mile to make sure she makes the most out of her time at Maclay. I’ve enjoyed getting to see that and it’s definitely a part of her that the rest of the family doesn’t get to see.”
Frazee’s family moments go beyond the gates of Maclay all the way to her house as her family all live within a mile radius of each other on their farm. Frazee has not lived on her farm her entire life because when her great grandfather died, they moved into his house. Her aunts and uncles, like Mackie, also built houses out there so they could all be together.
“It’s kinda just an open invite,” Frazee said. “I’ll come home and sometimes my cousins will just be in my house chilling. Everyone is so welcoming so we kind of just walk right in. We usually eat dinner together on the weekends or hang out and have a bomb fire.”
When asked what Frazee’s favorite part about living on her family’s farm is, she responded that there is always something to do.
“There is honestly just always something to do,” Frazee said. “I never really get bored, especially with my cousins out there because there are always people to hang out with. If I ever want someone to talk to that aren’t my parents, I can call my aunts and they are always there. It’s just like having a lot of siblings.”
Along with the multitude of family dinners the Frazee’s take part in, she truly enjoys spending the most time with her Grandparents. With dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats and some chickens, Frazee and her grandfather spend their time together riding horses. Because she gets to see her aunts and uncles multiple times throughout the week, she tries to spend time doing things with her grandfather.
With the constant support in her life, it is clear that being a part of a big family is very important to Frazee and has ultimately shaped her experience attending Maclay. Whether she sees her cousins from across the campus or is spending time with her aunts and uncles at their family dinners, Frazee would never change the life she gets to live and experience with her family by her side, not only at school but also at home.
“I don’t know what my future holds as far as living on a farm goes, but I’ve definitely learned how important it is to raise kids with their family because it has been so impactful for me,” Frazee said. “That is one big thing I have taken from it. I really love Malcay and being able to be a part of a tight community. Even for people here who don’t have family members at Maclay, I think everyone here has a family type of group and that’s what I love about it.”
Although Frazee shares her love for Maclay with her blood related relatives, she is lucky to lean on her friends, for whom she considers to be like her own family.
“Copeland and I have been best friends since day one and our families are family to each other,” Lamb said. “She has always been there for me no matter what.”
“People make mistakes, or you might have differing views, but family will be there for you,” Frazee said. “Family is there during the good times and the bad.”