Jackie D. Gardiner initially chose Nashua Community College for its affordability, but she was also able to explore her interests and strengthen her skills.

“At NCC, I expanded my leadership skills by getting involved with multiple student organizations,” said Jackie. “I had the opportunity to take classes that piqued my interest, and the professors and NCC staff truly wanted to help every student succeed. NCC is a very supportive community.”

In particular, the student clubs and student government stood out for the opportunity to make friends, pursue interests, and grow as an individual, she said, “Passionate about politics? Get involved with Student Senate. Enjoy volunteerism? Join Rotaract and volunteer with other service-oriented individuals. Is there something you are passionate about, but there isn’t a student organization related to it? Start your own student organization. NCC offers so many fun opportunities to get involved; you just have to be open to experiencing them.”

“At NCC, student life is a very important part of our campus and we love seeing students involved in clubs and activities,”

Mackenzie Murphy, college alumna and CTE Continuing Education Coordinator at NCC

“There are so many ways to get involved from joining the Student Senate to service projects through the Rotaract club, to clubs and organizations there is something engaging for every student on campus.”

As a former NCC AmeriCorps VISTA on campus and current Rotaract club advisor, Mackenzie said “Our clubs and organizations are here to serve you and we hope every student knows they are welcome and that we would love to see them at a campus activity or joining a club”

Transferring to a four-year college

While preparing to transfer for her bachelor’s degree, Jackie had a tough time narrowing down to one four-year degree pathway. Luckily, she discovered the National Service programs.

“I changed my ‘transfer major’ seven times during my time at NCC,” she said, adding that a friend recommended she try a National Service program. “I completed one year of AmeriCorps FEMACorps, one year of AmeriCorps NCCC, and one year of AmeriCorps VISTA.”

During her AmeriCorps VISTA year, she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and minors in Sociology and Child Welfare, from the University of West Florida. “I am now the Volunteer Engagement Manager at United Way of West Florida.”

As the starting point to her college journey, NCC provided the flexibility and affordability to explore what college has to offer. “I am a first-generation graduate, and though my parents supported my passion for education, they could not assist with educational expenses. NCC was an affordable option and I was able to work while attending NCC,” she said. “Enjoy your time at NCC. It goes faster than you think.”

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Degrees and Certificates