Six Native American NMH students recently spent two days touring Cornell University as part of the university’s Promising Futures Program.
“We thought this would be a great opportunity for students in a range of grades to have the chance to visit a college campus in person, to talk directly with college students and professors, and start to think about and imagine their future,” said Joe Latimer, director of college counseling.
Promising Futures is offered by Cornell’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program.
“I admire and appreciate Cornell for allowing this to happen on their campus, in support of our Indigenous students,” Latimer said. “This kind of on-campus college experience can be extremely valuable.”
The students, who were accompanied by teachers Wil Chuch and Charles Neisner, co-advisors to NMH’s Native Affinity Group, toured the Cornell campus, including its all-Native dormitory, and participated in workshops on the college application process. They also had dinner with a group of faculty and students and even took in a Cornell hockey game.
Chuch said the trip gave students a bit of insider information that will help when it comes time to apply to college.
“Our group was able to consider sample applications,” he said. “For me, as an adult working with students, that kind of information allows us to learn what Cornell is looking for in students, and that will be valuable as I help guide our students in the future.
“Just as important as the college-visit piece was that this trip was a way for the students to hang out together as a group, to do something social, and have some fun together,” he added.
The visit, Latimer said, is just one example of NMH’s multi-year college counseling program, which begins in the 9th grade and builds each year, preparing students to tackle the application and college acceptance process with strength and confidence.
Lyric Thomas ’25 was already interested in Cornell before the trip, where she learned more about areas of study that she might pursue in college. “I want to go into marine biology, and I love the sciences,” she said. “Cornell is one of my top choices for colleges, and this visit was an opportunity to learn how the application process works. I also learned that the school has an outpost in Maine where you can do direct studies in marine life.”
Gabby Thomas ’24 came to NMH last year because she wanted more of a challenge academically and in athletics. She said the Cornell visit was eye-opening and expanded her ideas about what her own college experience might look like.
“It made me realize I could potentially go to a bigger school,” Thomas said. “I've been looking at a lot of smaller liberal arts schools, but I really like the environment at a bigger school like Cornell. I also liked how inclusive it was and how they’re trying to attract more Native students. It was a nice experience.”