Education for the HEAD, HEART, and HAND
Northfield Mount Hermon engages the intellect, compassion, and talents
of our students, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose.
I tried a lot of stuff when I first got to NMH. I was in Concert Band; I went to a few meetings for The Bridge; I was in all these different clubs. I was like, okay, I don’t really know how to make friends, so I’m going to try all these options....
I went to a public middle school in New Jersey, and it dawned on me that I didn’t want to go to high school there. I tried a lot harder than most of the other students; they either didn’t want to be there or they didn’t see the point. My uncle found...
I come from a poor neighborhood in lower Harlem. I went to a public school there. Coming to NMH, I thought everyone was going to be preppy, rich, and snobbish—but I soon realized that income didn't matter all. Students were chosen to come here...
When you come to boarding school, you can reinvent yourself. Before I came here, I’d never been in any singing groups and I’d never wrestled. Now I’m in an all-male a cappella group, Concert Choir, and NMH Singers. And I’m on the varsity wrestling...
I was so scared when I started at NMH. I was not good with leaving home. I was terribly homesick; I cried almost the whole first day. It was rough. But I wanted to be here so badly that I told myself, “You have to get over it.” After a week I did....
When I first showed up at NMH, I was five foot ten and had 14 inches of hair. Now I'm six foot one and have a shaved head. But the changes in me since coming here completely transcend the physical. I've been able to reach a deeper level of...
I’m an only child because China has the one-child policy. It was my idea to come to NMH; I wanted to see what it was like to be away from my parents for a little bit and live by myself. At first they were like, “No. You can’t go away to the States....
I was a shy kid before I came to NMH. I didn't really talk to anyone when I was on campus for my revisit day. Since then I've become an admission ambassador, which means I give campus tours to prospective students and their families. Talking to...
I've been dancing since I was three years old. I joined Senior Dance Company as a freshman, which was a big thing because I was the only freshman in the company. It was weird at first, but once I started getting to know the other girls, I was very...
I was born in New Zealand; when I was 8, my family moved back to China. A family friend who went to NMH recommended it to me, but I wasn't able to visit before I enrolled because it is so far from home. Since I didn't know what the United States or...
I looked at other schools in the area because I wanted to be a day student. I was attracted by NMH’s size and its established academic tradition. I was also drawn to its mission of educating the head, the heart, and the hand. I didn’t want a place...
My first impression of NMH was that it was going to be a walk in the park. To be honest, I didn't really have to study in my old school. I did maybe an hour of homework a night and aced the tests. Once I got here, though, I quickly realized that I...
I’m in the Upward Bound program; because of that I’ve been coming to the NMH campus every summer since ninth grade. I never really pictured myself going to a boarding school, but the people at Upward Bound encouraged me to apply. I thought, “I’m not...
When I came to visit NMH for the first time, I watched a couple of soccer games. I noticed that the fans here were really polite and nice, not like the crazy fans I was used to. After one of the games, I went out on the field and started kicking a...
Zeke and Isabelle Smith
Zeke: We wanted to go to a boarding school so we could develop deeper relationships with our peers and teachers. It feels like there’s a lot of stability here. As ex-pats in Singapore, we went to an international American school where more than 63...
What is intelligence? It's a form of happiness. It's the confidence of really knowing something and the thirst to always know more. It's the joy of competing with one of the best math teams in New England, counting salamanders in an ecological field study, or debating development policy in Model UN. It's the satisfaction of a well-executed hit and run, the perfectly turned pirouette, or a trumpet solo built on the perfect phrase. It's about using the right way to do things as a means to discover your way to do things. And what could be smarter — or more fun — than that?
What is compassion? If you're going to practice it for real, compassion is a responsibility. It requires listening, sometimes to opinions that challenge your own. It requires self-reﬂection — asking yourself why you think what you think. It requires intelligence to see what needs to be done and the commitment to go do it. Compassion is anything but rare at NMH. You see it in the way students respect one another, the eagerness with which they take on leadership roles, and the enthusiasm with which they embrace service projects.
What is purpose? Well, this one is up to you (though we'll certainly help). You need to do some thinking and exploring, and then have the courage to say, "this is what I’m really about." And this is where NMH really shines - challenging you, supporting you, helping you turn your talents and passions into a plan for college and for life. There are plenty of models to follow. NMH graduates have been nominated for Oscars and Pulitzers, founded businesses and political movements, counseled presidents and chastised dictators. And they all started out as freshman asking themselves, "Who do I want to be?"