?Leah McFarland '12
As a high school student, nothing came easy for Leah McFarland. She was an average student with below average expectations of herself. After being diagnosed with a developmental delay in the first grade, she never felt she could measure up to everyone else and never really gave it her all. Since a young age, Leah knew after high school you were supposed to go to college.
When it came time for college, Leah was excited about a fresh start and to find her place. Leah knew she wanted a school where she would get one on one time with professors and make lasting relationships. “At Great Bay, I immediately felt at home, “McFarland said. “It was such a welcoming environment. To my surprise, I believed I could achieve anything.”
It was two specific individuals at Great Bay that boosted Leah’s experience, Michael Fischer, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Maggie Duffy-Durkin, Academic Advisor. “They made the big challenges feel so small,” McFarland said. “And reminded me to take things one step at a time.”
Three short years later, Leah found herself as the Commencement speaker, sharing her personal struggles and excitement with her fellow graduates. Next stop was Keene State, where Leah earned dual bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Social Sciences. “The best thing that came from Great Bay was my lifelong relationships; I met my wonderful fiancé at an outdoor movie and two of my best friends,” McFarland said. “It can be said, without a doubt Great Bay brought me all the good things that I have.”