YOUNG LEADERS WHO WILL SHAPE HISTORY
Major: When I was trying to decide what my major would be, I tried to consider a future that would be rewarding for me and rewarding for this earth, that is why I am an environmental studies major.
Challenges: Transferring to a deaf and hearing high school in New York City from an affluent suburban New Jersey school system was one of the most challenging adventures in my life, so far. While my home life was flipped upside down, I had to learn a new language and really make the decision everyday to get up and prove to myself that I could handle this. Also, when I made the conscious decision to be active against the war on my college campus, it took time for me to be confident in my beliefs so that when I spoke out against the war, people would be open to what I had to say. I believe that I overcame that difficult time by pushing through the bad days and believing that I would be a better person for it in the end.
Accomplishments: I am proud of the fact that I succeeded in a new high school setting by learning American Sign Language. As difficult as it was, I was determined to make it through and in the end, I couldn’t have been more glad that I stuck with it. I am also proud of how much I have come to be passionate about anti war activism. There is still a lot for me to learn about how to educate people on this topic but finally finding something that I really care about and making the decision to be involved with this cause forever, is something that I believe defines who I am, and that is something I can be proud of.
Turning Point: The first day I walked into J47. Never in my life have I ever been so terrified of what the future would bring but that first day at the ASL school was a moment in my life that made me stop and think. This was a new day; I could be whoever I wanted to be. I had the opportunity to completely remake my life, and while I was scared about a new environment, I was also free from my past. I think that it was important for me to realize that as scared as I was, I got to become someone I never knew I could be.
Mentors: Some of the most influential people in my life, so far, have been Patty Anderegg, guidance councilor of the ASL and English High School for believing in me from day one. Patty was always willing to help me through everything in life. From home life to college applications, to graduation speeches. I thank her for helping me keep my sanity on some of my worst days. Austin Galvin has also influenced my life to a great degree. Always offering great advice on how to deal with whatever life threw at me, he never lost his cool, even when I did. And then, there is of course, my wonderful stepmother, Deborah Allton Maher. Without her, I doubt that our family would have been functional. She not only accepted her instant family, she embraced us all and I am a better woman because of her.
Favorite Professor: My favorite professor has been Dr. Donald McNutt. Dr. McNutt taught my English comp 101 last semester and through his course I learned a lot on how to reflect on my writing and how to take those reflections and make a paper better from them. His investment in all of his students is something I wish every professor did, even after taking his class; he is more than willing to look over something with a student. I do hope to take another one of his classes and learn more from this very kind man.
Advice: Really work hard at their schoolwork now and get good grades. It is completely understandable how frustrating it can be at times but if you don’t push through this work, then you won’t be able to make choices about your future. Make the grades and you will get to pick your college, if you don’t, someone else will and I guarantee you won’t like what they pick.
Best Course: I most enjoyed Composition 101 so far in college, I enjoy writing and this class not only let me write freely but also gave me the tools to make what I wanted to write more powerful.
5 Years From Now: In five years from now, who knows where I’ll be. I try not to make my life planned out too far in advance because I think it leaves more room for disappointment when things don’t go the way I want them to. I do hope to be done with college though; perhaps I’ll be in graduate school. Whatever does happen, I’ll work very hard to achieve whatever goals I have.#