“I know I’m going to graduate with a better understanding of who I am and what’s important to me. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to focus on in college, but NMH taught me not to settle, and I feel ready.
Sage, Class of 2023
Talk to Northfield Mount Hermon students and you quickly get a sense that “community” is more than a buzzword. Sage ’23 came to NMH from her hometown of State College, Pennsylvania, and sensed a difference right away. “There’s a lot of support here for students wanting to be well-rounded community members,” she says. “Being part of teams, clubs, affinity groups – it’s a big part of NMH culture.”
That sense of community culture extends to the classroom as well. “There’s a community within each classroom. Learning here is a growth process, more than just, ‘Do you understand this concept?’”
That works the other way around, too – the classroom extends outside class time. “You can get to know teachers very well. It’s not just in class,” she notes. “You’re seeing them in the dining hall, with their families. Teachers really care. They want you to succeed. Everything feels much more connected.”
Like many of her peers, Sage finds lots of ways to connect at NMH. She’s a captain on the Alpine ski team and a field hockey player. She’s also an Ecoleader in the Climate Justice Coalition, which works on sustainability efforts on campus and beyond, and is a member of the Interfaith Council.
Another key to NMH’s strength as a community, Sage says, is the workjob program, which requires every student to spend four hours a week at a campus job, from working in the dining hall to giving campus tours to cleaning buildings. “Everybody is helping the whole community thrive. That’s really important to me.”
For Sage, coming to NMH tied back to family history. “My great-grandmother came to NMH as a post-graduate in 1935,” Sage says. “She came in not knowing exactly what she wanted to do. She ended up really promoting wellness and health, especially women’s health. She was inspired to continue that after NMH — she graduated from Syracuse and became a doctor and devoted her career to underserved communities. That was because of NMH. She was completely inspired by the community.”
Sage says her great-grandmother held everyone to a high standard. “She never wanted me to not do something because I was afraid, or because I thought I couldn't do something. It carries over to what NMH does – people find what they’re passionate about, and with NMH, they have the resources to go do that after high school.”
To Sage, it’s a simple equation: “Whatever you put into NMH you’re going to get out of it.”
The key, she says, is finding out who you are and then sharing that perspective — and learning from the diverse perspectives of others. “I know I’m going to graduate with a better understanding of who I am and what’s important to me,” she says. “I don’t know exactly what I’m going to focus on in college, but NMH taught me not to settle, and I feel ready. I want to find a place where I can really be a part of that community.”
A competitive skier and field hockey player, Sage is also an Ecoleader, working on sustainability efforts on campus and beyond. To her, being involved is part of the NMH culture.