Reason #23 You Should Visit
A 260-acre research station
Class of 2023J
Brooklyn, New York
Why did you want to attend Smith?
I came to a summer writing workshop at Smith during my junior year of high school. I fell in love with it here. I found magic in the Camperdown Elm, in Sylvia Plath’s journals, in the questions my professor asked. I felt a genuine curiosity for what I wanted to explore not only in myself but in those around me. It was the first time in my life that anyone had ever read a story of mine and said that it had strong potential, that if I worked hard, I could be a writer. Above all, I fell in love with the friends I met here. I found people who would sing to me in the afternoons, who would connect with me around books, who saw the striking beauty within me and whom I saw the striking beauty within. I had never met people like this before and I wanted more time with them.
What has financial aid meant to you?
Financial aid has been my stepping stone to a life of curiosity, exploration and joy. It has given me the tools to question the world around me and to find a deep sense of knowing, both of myself and of the world I have come to find in front of me.
“Financial aid has been my stepping stone to a life of curiosity, exploration and joy.”
What does being a Smithie mean to you?
It means always questioning. It means attempting to understand myself in relation to the world. It means working towards a goal with all I have, and then being willing to change my direction if there is a way I can go deeper with my project. It means finding ways to include more people and represent more identities in my work when possible. In the friends I have made here, I see a tremendous desire to change the world. I see a ferociousness and a fire, a sweetness and a gentleness, and a powerful outlook on the hopeless state that the world finds itself in. I find hope in my friends here, and I think I am beginning to find hope in myself.
What are you studying, and why?
I am studying anthropology in the hopes of using it to understand the process of human interaction, love and culture. Anthropology takes us to the past and asks why we have formed the world we have by exploring the thoughts, ideas and connections of individuals and communities. I hope to use my studies to understand how groups interact on the deepest level that I can. I believe this will serve me in the nonprofit world, as I know that one of the only ways to create lasting change is to work on the systems level, which requires different organizations, corporations, governments and communities to work together.
Why should donors support financial aid?
By supporting financial aid, you are not only supporting one person in their learning, you are creating space for a person to expand their view of the world, to understand themselves and others on a deeper level and to create bridges they will use to create community. You are helping someone have the space to heal, to explore and to try something new—and by doing so, you are influencing their community back home, you are changing the course of their families’ lives and you are setting someone on a path to work on what they feel is important in a way that combines compassion and knowledge.
To make an endowed gift or to learn more about supporting financial aid at Smith, please contact Betsy Carpenter ’93, associate vice president for development, at 413-585-2052 or email@example.com.