Hometown: Hammonton, New Jersey
High School: Hammonton High School
Minors: English and American Studies
Campus activities: Trivia Night, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board, Hamilton College Democrats, Levitt Center, Intramural volleyball
I grew up in Hammonton, New Jersey—the Blueberry Capital of the World. Almost the entire town revolves around farming and the population was pretty homogeneous: Italian and Catholic. High school football ruled—you’d think we were the town in Friday Night Lights if you didn’t know any better. The small town experience let me grow up with the same set of friends and I really liked that. The close-knit, community feel is something I really enjoy and was a major factor in my decision to come to Hamilton.
My mom teaches middle school language arts in an urban school district. She loves Literature and writing and I don’t doubt for a second that she’s the reason I’ve developed an interest in those areas as well. My dad is a purchasing director for a produce distribution company. He’s really into college football, good music, and good food and I’ve definitely taken after him in those regards. I also have a brother who is a senior in high school and is probably the smartest kid I’ve ever met and a sister who is currently in seventh grade.
I loved high school. I was a member of the boys’ soccer and track teams, the academic team, Student Council, National Honor Society, and I organized the political events at my school. I had four teachers who really inspired me and helped me reach my potential: my biology teacher, (Mrs. Shaner) who helped me come out of my shell in a big way, my junior English teacher (Mrs. Meehan) who was in charge of student government and gave me the opportunities to get political experience; my senior English teacher (Mr. Groatman) who really challenged me intellectually like I had never been challenged before, and my European history teacher (Mr. O’Malley) who showed me new ways to view the world. Without them I wouldn’t be here today.
To be honest, I was touring Colgate and Syracuse and by chance, my family and I stopped at a gas station nearby. The man who was filling up next to us recommended that I check out Hamilton. We decided to check it out and I loved it. This was a completely random way of discovering a school, but it definitely worked out!
Hamilton has given me a chance to pursue a passion that I’ve had for over ten years now. Throughout high school I was never given a chance to really study politics and now that I have I can’t get enough of it. It’s also given me the opportunity to venture into areas that I never could have seen myself looking at before arriving. I’ve taken courses in things like counseling psychology and Russian, which have allowed me to broaden my horizons and find new interests. Outside the classroom, however, I’ve come to meet people who have come from completely different backgrounds and forge friendships with them. I have friends from California, Massachusetts, New York, even Argentina. Every one of them grew up in a different setting than I did and being able to hear their experiences and see where they came from has definitely been a defining element of my time here.
I’m hoping to get involved in government at some level. I’d love to run for office eventually, but in the meantime I want to do something that really gives me a chance to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I’m considering going down to New Orleans to do Teach for America and I’m interested in helping improve the lives of people who live in poverty. I don’t know exactly where that will take me and I’m planning on letting fate carry me, but I am positive that I want to do something in public service to help change lives for the better. We’re only given one chance to change the world, right?
Biomusicology by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
South, Bundy East
Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Sports, politics, reading, driving, the presidents
“No one makes you feel inferior without your consent” –Eleanor Roosevelt