After spending her entire high school career preparing for the military, through her JROTC program, Jackie Tormey couldn’t wait to graduate and become a solider in the army. In the blink of an eye, her dream was crushed. Due to medical complications, she was unable to pursue her dream of joining the military. Not wanting to take a year off, she pondered other options. Knowing Great Bay had rolling admissions, Jackie explored programs. Criminal Justice was appealing for the sheer fact it was the closest thing to the military she could get. Without knowing for sure what she wanted, Jackie enrolled and was determined to make the best of the hand she was dealt.
“I had many fears about starting college,” Tormey said. “I didn’t want to choose between work and school, I needed to do both.” Luckily, on orientation day Jackie attended the new student lunch and met her advisor, MoniqueGraf. Jackie immediately felt comfortable with Monique and was able to form a relationship, which eased her nerves. “Monique was very approachable,” Tormey said. “She gave me the confidence and comfort I needed.” It is students like Jackie that fuels Monique’s drive to work individually with students. “Jackie went from being timid, to a confident leader and respected mentor among her peers,” Graf said. Jackie’s first semester went smoothly; she did well in her classes while adjusting to the college verses high school work load. It was in her second semester that Jackie began to soar. She had enthusiasm towards school, and could concretely see herself succeeding further than anticipated. “My professors were so interesting, accommodating, and extremely knowledgeable,” explained Tormey. “Their ‘on the job’ experience captures my attention and I find myself more excited about my future.”
It seemed like everything had fallen into place for Jackie. “I wasn’t sure how it could get better and then it did.” Like many college students, Jackie worried about paying for school, books and supplies. After meeting Jody Mancini, Program Recovery Specialist, Jackie didn’t worry as much. Jody is the coordinator for gender equity student and gives this population opportunity for scholarships and book stipends. Jackie was awarded scholarship money and was able to get three of her four books paid for. “She is a hard worker and I am so pleased she is taking advantage of this opportunity,” Mancini added. “My hope is that more students, like Jackie, who are in a career that is considered non-traditional for their gender, will realize that these funds are available.”
Jackie plans to further her education in criminal justice and get her bachelor’s degree. “I want to work at the Youth Detention Center in Concord, to help misguided children and teens find their future.” Only in her second year, Jackie is unsure about where she will transfer, but she does have one expectation. “I want my next college to be as supportive as Great Bay.”