People are confident in themselves, and they’re open to diverse perspectives and opinions from different cultures. Students at NMH get to know people without having biases beforehand. I am surrounded by good people I laugh with every day.
Tory, Class of 2023
Tory hadn’t particularly thought about changing schools after eight years in an international school in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Then her sister, Angie ’20, came to Northfield Mount Hermon.
“When she got home for break,” Tory says, “she had changed so much. Her perspective had broadened.”
Tory’s family thought NMH would be a good place for her, too. “I just went and did it. I was so homesick my first few days, but my sister was here, too – she was a senior when I was a freshman, and that was my main support system at first. I tried to make friends with a lot of people. NMH is a good place for that – it’s a place where you step out of your comfort zone.”
That was easier, she says, because “people were open and nice and genuine. Everyone was so involved with things that it gave me the comfort to engage in things, too.” Tory takes part in a lot of activities, “but at the same time,” she adds, “I don't feel like there’s a lot of pressure.”
Tory is editor-in-chief of the The Lamplighter, the student newspaper, which has heightened her interest in journalism and communications. “I want to use it to shed light on minority stories and unheard voices,” she says. She’s also involved in campus interfaith and Christian organizations, has been a JV volleyball captain, and participates in activities like the film club.
She counts among her biggest accomplishments becoming a Resident Leader her junior year. “That experience really humbled me,” she says. “It showed me what traits are important – as an RL, you have to empathize with people on a very personal level and develop trust.”
As a student in NMH’s Rhodes Fellowship Course in Social Entrepreneurship, in which students learn how social entrepreneurs create innovative ventures designed to change society for the better, Tory has used journalism to explore issues around homelessness. “In the first year, we talked about a needs-based approach to social activism,” she says. “I had to create a case study, to make a mock enterprise with a mission statement, and learn how you measure success, how you scale up, who your competitors are. If you continue the class senior year, you create and own a real enterprise.”
She’s now working on a website with stories about how people became homeless and what could have prevented that outcome. “The goal is debunking myths about homelessness,” she explains.
To Tory, NMH’s culture enables students to stretch themselves, in and outside of class. “People are confident in themselves, and they’re open to diverse perspectives and opinions from different cultures,” she says. “They actively try to get to know who you are and where you’re from. Everyone is their own person, with their own personality that is riveting in its own way. Students at NMH get to know people without having biases beforehand. I am surrounded by good people I laugh with every day.
Editor of NMH’s student newspaper, The Lamplighter, Tory wants to use journalism to amplify unheard voices and shed light on overlooked stories, including debunking myths about homelessness.