I have always been, and always will be a learner. I found myself faced with having to be creative with my education when my parents had the difficult conversation with me that my acceptance to Northeastern University was not something they could afford, even with the $3,000 a semester scholarship. A well respected and accomplished student all throughout my childhood education and suddenly I was faced with having to create my own method of continuing my growth as an adult. Little did I realize at the time - this was a good position for someone like me to be in.
I was fortunate to get a contracted job with full benefits at the University of New Hampshire right out of high school Fall of 2001. It is the University System of New Hampshire I have to thank for my education – both professionally and academically. While working full-time at UNH, I attended classes part-time, receiving a free class each semester as long as I kept my GPA up. Some semesters I took on multiple classes; a couple I even attended full-time while continuing to work full-time as well. It took five years, but I was able to receive my Associate of Applied Science in Community Leadership at the Thompson School without any debt whatsoever. This degree focused a lot on non-profit management and leadership development. It literally opened my eyes to options for a career I had never considered before. I began to research local non profits and seek out leadership positions. This search successfully led me to working for Strafford County Nursing Home as an Activity Aide, which then turned into the positions I have held since, working with elderly and in non-profit agencies.
For my bachelor's degree I was referred to Granite State College as my professor and advisor thought the self-design program was right for me. She was certainly correct in thinking so! The self-design program at GSC, along with their supportive staff assisted me to create a meaningful and fulfilling curriculum that I use today in my statewide job. Granite State College is a school that works alongside with you, and that is why I love it so much.
I am now working on my master's degree in Leadership at GSC so I can truly complete the journey I have started for myself through the University System of NH. I currently oversee a federal, statewide program for NH call the Senior Companion Program. We have 80 volunteers who visit with over 400 frail and homebound elders and adults with disabilities in their homes. We partner with 27 fellow senior care and non profit agencies in our program. To have a master's degree of this aptitude I will be able to continue to expand my leadership role within the program and beyond. I have aspirations to be the Director of Elder Services for my agency one day. My current director is looking at retirement in the near future and I would love to take on the challenge. If not with the current agency I am in, I am now also considering working for a federal or state program with a high level of responsibility. I have always said since realizing I loved working with seniors, I would like to one day be an administrator who oversees a community living facility for seniors or even work with the Attorney General’s Office.