Ada Comstock Scholars Program

October 12, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski

– My name is Carolina Dellepiane. I am originally from Argentina. I’m in Smith College studying psychology and minoring in public policy. – My name is Cecilia Van Dreische and I’m a double mathematics
and biology major. – I’m Jessica Nelson. I’m from Houston, Texas. I am a psychology major, sociology minor and I’m concentrating
in community engagement and social change. – My name is Ketty Munyenyembe. I’m an international Ada Comstock Scholar. My major at Smith College
is biological sciences. – Before coming to Smith I
had a somewhat successful career in marketing in New York City. I always felt that I was
very unfulfilled in my career. Three years ago I signed
up for community college. It brought me back to a sense
of happiness and fulfillment. And when I was at community college, I heard of the Ada program. When I was looking at other colleges, I was really looking for a
place that would support me in my role as a mother, but also, a college that
could help me find balance in my family life and
my life as a student, and my professional life. – [Cecilia] As I was looking at schools, I was really excited and
interested in finding a program that would be really
academically challenging. I think I actually wrote
in my application essay, I would like to have
my academic butt kicked and so, that was part of
why I wanted to come to Smith is that I was really excited
about the academics here. – I came directly to Smith
from the Marine Corp. A program called Service to School, helped me connect with Smith College. They told me about a program called the Ada Comstock Scholar program, which was specifically for
non-traditional students. Going back to school at 29 was a little bit daunting. Talking to the professors here, they seemed actually
invested in their student. It felt like a place where
they wanted me to succeed. So, that’s what set Smith
apart from the other campuses that I had been interested in, previously. – So, being an Ada, I think is the most fun in the classroom. Many of my professors have told me that Adas are their favorite students. They appreciate the life
experiences and the knowledge that we bring into the classroom. – I expected the classroom experience, but, I didn’t expect
everything that comes with it. I expected to learn from the books, but, I didn’t expect to
learn from these young minds. – [Ketty] In the beginning,
it’s really hard. Academics can be hard, but once you get through the
beginning it gets easier. When you understand how the system works and what our professors expect from you, and then you realize
that I have learned so much. – At Smith, I’ve had opportunities that I didn’t think would be available to me as a non-traditional student. I got to study abroad in
Panama over a January term, which was just really
cool and not something that I thought would be able to happen when I first arrived here. And it was just one of those cool things that I feel like happens pretty regularly to students at Smith, where you apply to
something and you get it and you have an amazing experience
and Smith provides that. – The support at Smith
College is incredibly amazing. – From the Health Center,
the Counseling Center, to the Lazarus Center, where they can help you build your resume or try to find career opportunities. – The other form of support
that has been really important and incredibly valuable has
been in my academic advisors. Helpful in figuring out
not just what classes to take next semester, but helpful in some of the big
picture life questions also, that I’ve come to them to ask. – You are headed to the school that’s gonna commit itself to bring out the best out of you. The school that’s gonna look at you as a person that is destined for success. The school that’s gonna
look at your failures as stepping stones and
tell you that you can do it and it’s okay to struggle. – You’re gonna be reminded of
the potential that you have. Every single day you’re going
to discover your strength. You’re going to be challenged in a good way, so definitely apply. – Get involved. Academics is incredibly important, but when you leave Smith
it’s not the academics that you’re gonna remember, but it’s gonna be everything surrounding that and it’s gonna be the people that you meet and the experiences
that you live here with. – [Cecilia] Being successful
at Smith is not a matter of what gray matter you have
in your brain, right now, it’s a matter of working hard and having a good attitude
about working hard. And I think if you’re looking at Smith, you probably already have that. (upbeat music)