I am Smith
At age 19, I had a daughter and a full-time job. Where I grew up, it wasn’t the norm to attend college. But I knew I wanted something different for myself and for my daughter. I attended Southern Maine Community College and a college counselor asked if I had heard about Smith. I was shocked to learn that an elite school was even a possibility for me. When I was accepted, I was excited and completely terrified.
From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew Smith understood that I am not only a student, I’m a mom, too. The women at Conway House have become the best friends I’ve had in my life. I have been able to expose my daughter to things here that she would never have had at home: tango dancing, theater and the banana tree at the Botanic Garden.
It’s obvious from every interaction with the professors here that students are their priority. I have spent hours talking to professors. Even those I have not taken a class with are happy to help. The traditional-aged students are great, too. I have one friend who babysits for my daughter so I can take an evening class.
Then there are the opportunities. I was invited by Maine State Senator Stan Gerzofsky to work with him on a bill he is drafting for extended funding for community colleges. I contacted staff at the Lazarus Center for Career Development, and they referred me to the dean’s office, which funded my travel expenses. When my car broke down, I was able to tap into emergency funding to get it fixed. I hope to attend a woman’s global leadership conference in Dubai—again, funded by Smith.
My dream is to work with underrepresented communities. I want to give back to those who have no voice in policies that impact their lives, particularly in education and social justice. Smith is giving me the skills and the opportunities to be able to do that.