In 2019 I was a kombucha bar owner, I didn't have my Bachelor's Degree, and New Hampshire was nowhere on my radar. Once Covid hit, I was forced to sell my store, and at that time I thought my world was crumbling. It wasn't until I was forced to sit still and really think about what I wanted to do with my life that I realized that I now had time to finally pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer. I set out to find an online school because I had no desire to move. In fact, the first few times that I saw UNH Law on my Facebook timeline, I would hurriedly scroll pass because I thought, "There was no way I am moving to New Hampshire."
Once I finally realized that it was a hybrid program, I was so excited that I could go to law school without moving. New Hampshire, though, had a much larger effect on me than I could ever have imagined. With each trip here I fell more in love with the Granite State. So much so that I decided that I would only apply in the New Hampshire area for Summer internships so that I at least live here on a trial basis before making such a monumental decision, and the New Hampshire 1L Summer Associate Diversity Program helped me do just that.
The other day at lunch I walked passed a historical marker in downtown Manchester that informed me that a stop on the Underground Railroad was literally a block away from my office. On this historical marker I could see a number of routes mapped out, but one in particular caught my attention. It led straight from South Carolina to 44 Manchester Street... a block away from my office. My eyes filled with tears as I imagined how elated and relieved my ancestors must have been to reach this point in their journey, and I realized that the feelings that I get while I'm here in New Hampshire are quite similar to what I can only imagine theirs were. I cannot find the words to express how much I have enjoyed my time here, but if you understood how much I really do not want to go back to South Carolina, then you might just understand. I think my son said it best when he came up to visit. He looked at me and said, "Mom, this place just feels good. It feels like home." I couldn't agree with him more as I am the one who actually got to interact with you all... such a collegial bar that I cannot wait to become a part of, all the amazing Granite Staters that I had random conversations with while out exploring, the family that own's B&B Cafe that yells out my name like Norm from Cheers when I walk in, and especially at Sheehan Phinney where I have always felt like a part of the family. Thank you so much for this opportunity which has shown me not only how far I’ve come, but also everything that I have to look forward to.