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- by  New College Foundation
Alyssa Boynton had her pick of colleges.  The valedictorian of her high school senior class in the small town of Slayton, MN turned down Yale to attend New College of Florida. “I read about New College in the Book, Schools that Change Lives. Hearing about New College’s academic system was so amazing to me, that idea of not having grades and being able to explore things that I care about.”

She also came to New College because she received a scholarship. “I was lucky to be awarded a Skestos scholarship, provided generously by former New College of Florida Board Trustee George Skestos and his wife Tina, a four-year leadership program where students do service learning. That helped make my decision, it was the push allowing me to afford it.”

Alyssa is now in her third year at New College.  She acts as an Admissions Ambassador to the school, providing tours to potential students.  She likes to share what she believes is at the core of her New College experience, her relationships with professors. “In a big university, you’re in a 200-person lecture hall.  Your professor probably doesn’t know you because it’s being taught by a graduate student who may or may not know your name. Here, professors genuinely care about you.”

She says the impact of these relationships makes one feel they can accomplish anything, and the narrative evaluations help with that.  “When I’m having a bad day, I’ll read my narrative evaluations. A lot of it is praising our strengths and making you understand that you are doing great work here. It’s so nice to be able to go back to that when you feel you’re going to fail your exam.  It has also showed me where I’m struggling.  I have learned to take negative feedback that is constructive. Because they care about me, they are pushing me to do better.”

As for the future, Alyssa has her sights set on Montessori education. She recently completed an internship and an independent study project at two area Montessori schools.  Her thesis will center on a positivity bias study, whereby reactions to certain stimuli are measured in terms of fear vs. positivity.  “I love the Montessori concept. Children are so capable if given the right tools. I love the respect they have for the child.”

Alyssa is eternally grateful to New College’s many donors who provide scholarships to students like her. “It’s a really cool experience knowing that someone cares about New College and wants to fund these amazing experiences for more students to come here and get this incredible education. So, thank you!

New College Changes Lives

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