There’s not any one type of student NMH has. If you want athletics, we have that. Creative, we have that. What defines most NMH students is creativity and the ability to overcome obstacles.
Deshayne, Class of 2024
Deshayne’s central concern when he came to Northfield Mount Hermon as a 9th-grader, he says, was “culture shock.”
Back home in Newcomb, New Mexico, he was used to being like most everyone else, a Navajo resident of a small community and a student at a small school. “There is a lot of diversity at NMH,” he says. “I struggled with culture shock, and my freshman year, it influenced the way I interacted with people — I just didn't interact as much.”
But that initial feeling gave way to comfort, as he lived alongside students from all over the world. “It was great meeting so many people from many different backgrounds and being able to participate in things that I enjoy but that I’d never thought of doing before,” he says.
Deshayne came to NMH with a strong interest in computer science and has branched out to explore creative pursuits, too; he's particularly interested in acting and was in the cast of the fall play, Twelve Angry Jurors. He’s also part of the Indigenous American Affinity Group and is trying out photography.
And he loves learning about other people. As a cross-country runner, Deshayne says, he’s also been able to meet students from other schools, which has given him a sense of what sets NMH apart. At one race, he recalls, “I was just walking and jogging so I could talk with people.”
The classroom experience is another thing that sets NMH apart, Deshayne says. “At my old school, if you were doing math, you’d just do equations. Here, it’s more hands-on.” In a unit on imaginary numbers, for example, the students wrote about math, philosophy, and the idea of imaginary numbers.
“Most of our classes are discussion-based,” he says. “A lot of times, everyone faces each other, or we split up into groups. And we can easily talk with someone if we’re struggling. Our peers in some ways also teach us.”
There's a lot to learn from such a varied group of students, Deshayne adds. “There's not any one type of student NMH has. If you want athletics, we have that. Creative, we have that. What defines most NMH students is creativity and the ability to overcome obstacles.”
When Deshayne found himself struggling as a 9th-grader amid the isolation of the pandemic, NMH had his back. Help came from many sources, in class and out, he says. “One thing you learn here — you’ll always find help from other people. Through that help, you’ll eventually overcome your obstacles.”
Back home in New Mexico, Deshayne was used to being like most everyone else, a Navajo resident of a small community, at a small school. NMH has opened up new experiences and opportunities for him.