On a Path to Help Others
Jaden Gray ’20 played soccer in high school although she was held back by a tumor in her leg. The tumor eventually was removed. But she has stuck with her plan to pursue a medical career, influenced by her experiences with doctors and hospitals over the years.
As a biology major in NVU’s pre-med track, she wants to give back by improving other people’s lives. “I wasn’t able to play sports the way I wanted to, and my doctor helped me through it,” Jaden says. “I want to help people that way, too.”
A few months after graduation from NVU’s Johnson campus, Jaden was able to do just that as a nutrition assistant at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
Gaining Skills Through Research with Professors
One semester she worked with a faculty member on an asthma study and plans to help other professors with research on depression and nutrition. “A lot of NVU teachers in the pre-med area are doing research,” says Jaden, from Clinton, Maine. “The research opportunities are definitely giving us the hands-on, science-based experience medical schools are looking for.”
Jaden plans to have an internship at a hospital in cardiology or pediatrics, her areas of interest.
Connections with Faculty Help Students Excel
The pre-med curriculum is intense, so being at a small school such as NVU, where faculty and students can develop close relationships, was important to Jaden.
“The professors make time for you, and you can really connect with them,” she says. “At NVU, a lot of us can learn more and understand concepts better than at a huge university where you have to do a lot of it on your own.”
Liberal Arts Core Broadens Knowledge, Offers New Viewpoints
As excited as Jaden was about her major and pre-med concentration, she values NVU-Johnson’s liberal arts foundation, which includes classes in a wide range of subjects, with an emphasis on creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. She has taken required courses in English, math, and art that offer a global viewpoint.
“It helps you branch out and see things in a different way. You don’t have to take just science classes. You can take art classes for something that’s relaxing,” she says. “It also helps you with basic knowledge, so you’ll be able to write a research paper as a doctor because of an English class.”
Inspired by Mountain Views, Supported by Welcoming Community
Outside of academics, Jaden was involved with the student dance club, varsity soccer, and varsity track and field. “The coaches are a great influence on us because they make sure we have our schoolwork in check. It’s always school first and then sports,” Jaden says. “It’s very helpful.”
Soccer was one reason she chose NVU, but she remembers visiting and being impressed by the beautiful mountain views and small, friendly campus.
“The sense of community helps NVU feel like home, which is a big help for transitioning to college,” Jaden says. “Students are more a family than we are just friends…You never really lose your connections, and you never drift apart either.”