The first time I visited NMH, I was so impressed by my campus tour guide—she seemed to know everybody. But that’s the way it is here. It’s so accessible and you feel you can try anything. For instance, I love to sing, so I’m in the Mount Harmony a cappella group and have been in Concert Choir all four years. I really stretched myself this year and did the Stille Nacht descant solo for this winter’s Vespers concert. I even manage the choir for my workjob requirement.
The classes I’ve taken at NMH have been great, but I’ve also had incredible out-of-the-classroom experiences. Last spring, as part of our Humanities II course, about 17 of us went to South Africa. We went into the townships and it was so powerful to actually witness what we had studied.
The CMAP feature of NMH was a big draw for me. That stands for College Model Academic Program, and it allows you to immerse yourself in a subject. You take three major courses each semester and are in each class for 80 minutes. You can double up on what you’re passionate about and form strong relationships with faculty. You get the foundation here, and then you run with it. This past summer, I did a research internship in a medicinal chemistry lab at Boston University, and I was ready.
One of the classes I’ve taken this fall is the sophomore Diversity and Social Justice seminar. It’s designed not only to make you consider the many aspects of diversity and multiculturalism in our society, but also to increase your awareness of your own identity. I think both of those goals are reinforced by what I do outside of the classroom at NMH. I’m a member of the Circle of Sisters, an affinity group for young women of color that raised a lot of money for the local food pantry this year.
When I first came to NMH, I was definitely more of a math and science person, but here I’ve really learned to love history and literature in a way I never had before. Almost all of our classes are conversation-based, which means that you’re totally engaged in classroom discussion. In fact, it’s so engaging that I remember that once, when I was a sophomore, our teacher was sick, and another student and I were so into the subject matter that we taught the class!
When I first visited NMH, I sat in on a Humanities class and the teacher—who eventually would become my volleyball coach and mentor—treated me just as if I were one of the students. The teachers here are really dedicated and they help us learn how to think more deeply. They don’t want us to just copy what they say but to find our own ideas and our own niche and then go out into the world and make changes.
When I came to NMH, I had to build up my confidence. Back then, I was only so-so at basketball. In fact, in my freshman year at my old school, I only played a few minutes the entire season. But when I got to NMH, my coach told me to write down my goals, then tear that up and write down my dreams. I wasn’t dreaming big enough. You see, in my old school, I never saw myself as someone who could be a Division I player one day. Now I can.