As part of our ongoing series that highlights NHTI alumni, the following blog post is written by Steven Kidder, 2015 graduate in General Studies.
I graduated high school in 2008 with dreams of going to college but without the wherewithal of where to start and without grades that would get me in the door. The reason I had no idea where to start was because neither of my parents had even attended college. In addition to that there wasn’t financial support even if I were to get in. So I started working minimum wage service jobs. I was stuck in that limbo for five years. It wasn’t until I got the opportunity to volunteer and work on President Obama’s reelection campaign that I realized what I wanted to do, though to get there was going to require hard work.
That next year with the help of a friend I applied to NHTI and got in. I was finally able to commit myself to my schoolwork in a way I wasn’t able to in high school. I intended to be there for a short amount of time and just get some classes under my belt, but realized when I got there that I had some catching up to do. I ended up sticking around for two and half years and getting my associate degree. Throughout those 2 ½ years I made the Dean’s List numerous times, was published in The Eye, was involved in the Pride Club, and truly tried to make the most of the situation.
While I was wrapping up my associate degree, I started applying to four-year institutions to finish up my bachelor’s because I knew that was what was next for me. Because of the hard work I put in at NHTI I got into every one of those schools to which I applied. I ended up choosing to attend Wesleyan University and graduated from there with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I went on to intern for a national LGBTQ* organization and then got the opportunity of a lifetime to work with a leading organization protecting and defending civil rights in New Hampshire.
I attribute these successes to my time at NHTI because through them I was able to rehabilitate the less-than-stellar grades I got in high school. Which then got me into one of the most prestigious universities in the country. On top of that NHTI gave me a sense of what was expected of me in college, which prepared me to succeed at Wesleyan University. For all of that I’m grateful for my time at NHTI and all it taught me.