Mattanawcook Academy, 2016
Husson University, 2022
“I have been able to create and foster lifelong friendships, not to mention the personal growth I’ve experienced since first becoming a Scholar.”
Abby changed her major three times before truly figuring out what she wanted to do with her life, and the Mitchell Institute was there to help her every step of the way. Now in her final years of the Occupational Therapy master’s program at Husson University, she knows that she has made the right choice, and that her efforts and hard work are going to pay off.
What moment stands out to you as the time you really understood what the Mitchell Institute could do for you?
I think I really understood what the Mitchell Institute could do for me when I first attended MILE I, a leadership development weekend held each October in Millinocket, right by Baxter State Park. I’ve always been an introvert, so it took me stepping outside my comfort zone and attending MILE I to start a journey of personal growth—a journey that has since been fostered by the incredible family I became part of at the Institute. Each staff member knows my name and makes an effort to reach out throughout the year and in person at different events, and they are always offering ways to provide support and advice. If I had chosen the safe option and stayed home I likely would’ve neglected all opportunities to become involved in the Mitchell Institute, but I’m sure glad I didn’t.
What has surprised you most about college?
I chose to attend Husson because it is a small school, and since I am an introvert I felt like it would be easier to adjust and make friends. That was my thought process, at least—I don’t think I actually believed it until I started school. Each professor I’ve had has known me by name, makes an effort to check in here and there, and genuinely cares about my future. The same goes for the friends I’ve made—I don’t just have “my people”; they exist across all domains and I love every minute of it.
How are the Mitchell Institute’s events and programs useful to you?
The Mitchell Institute events were especially helpful just after graduating high school because they opened my eyes to all the opportunities that were available to me. Had I not attended these events I would have just stopped at the Scholarship. Instead, I have been able to create and foster lifelong friendships, not to mention the personal growth I’ve experienced since first becoming a Scholar.