“Great Bay was a really good stepping-stone for me to achieve my goal of one day going to a four-year college.”
Abigail Lester is on the way to realizing her dreams because of her experiences at Great Bay Community College.
Lester, 19, graduated in May with an associate degree in liberal arts and will enroll this fall at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., where she will study exercise science.
“Great Bay showed me I could do anything I put my mind to. It helped me practice advocating for myself and it helped me realize what I needed to be successful at college-level courses,” Lester said. “I didn’t have a lot of confidence in high school about going to college, but I knew I wanted to go to college at some point. Great Bay was a really good stepping-stone for me to achieve my goal of one day going to a four-year college.”
Lester, who lives in Durham, enrolled at Great Bay in spring 2019. She learned how to learn at Great Bay. Or, as she says, she explored new “learning strategies” on the Portsmouth campus. She achieved good grades in high school but felt the pressure of achievement. At Great Bay, instead of feeling pressure, she felt the freedom to explore subjects that interested her and take the time “to try out new things.”
Because of Great Bay’s relative low cost, she could afford to take a variety of courses and explore her options. She chose liberal arts, she says, “to buy myself time to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. I only knew the things I didn’t want to do, but not the things I wanted to do.”
For the first time in her life, Great Bay helped her feel liberated, emboldened and confident, she said.
“I had a great experience at Great Bay. I felt very welcome from Day 1 and am very glad I enrolled.”