Evening Division Student Success - Samary M.

By on June 4, 2014

Life is busy.  It’s a simple truth. It’s wonderful and complicated, and there is no one size fits all plan, particularly when it comes to your education and career.

We’ve spent the last several weeks chatting with some of our evening division students about their paths to a college degree, and it has only confirmed what we already know - every student’s story is unique.  But despite that, we also know that each of their stories has an aspect that others can relate to, which is why we love to share them.

Samary Montes is a few credits away from graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, but it hasn’t come without a few obstacles along the way.

After high school, Samary enrolled in a local community college, but felt completely lost.  She had no idea what she wanted to do and felt that there was no guidance being given to her by the school.

“I ended up taking what seemed like the easiest path at the time,” she says. “I decided to forget about college and enrolled and completed beauty school. Looking back, had I just believed in myself enough to complete a college degree then, my life would have been easier.”

She spent a short time working in a salon before looking for administrative employment at a local business.  Samary currently works for Mass General Hospital doing administrative work in the neonatal department, which is where she found some inspiration to go back to school.

“The doctors there really love what they do, they’re changing lives. And it made me really stop and think, ‘what am I passionate about?’”

Growing up in Puerto Rico (she moved to Boston as a young girl), Samary had always wanted to go into Criminal Justice. Having had some first-hand experience with a family member that had been incarcerated affected her in ways that she is only now realizing. 

“It just always seemed to me that once someone commits a crime, they are placed in this category of ‘bad’, never to return again,” she says.  “But that’s not how the system should work. You have to be able to see the human side in everyone.”

Enrolling in Bay State College’s Criminal Justice program allowed her to explore those thoughts further, even giving her the chance to take part in the Inside Out Prisoner Exchange Program, where one of our Bay State classes was taught in the local prison with low-security prisoners.  

“It was an amazing opportunity for us all to realize that these prisoners are people too.  They have dreams and aspirations, and are smart despite having made some bad choices.”

Another notable class for Samary was a course focusing on writing police reports. The class was one of the toughest she’s taken, but Samary was thrilled when she got to call Professor Randy Azzato to tell him she passed her police exam with flying colors.

Samary began taking classes six years ago in the Bay State College Evening Division. There were breaks for children, injury, and work (such is life!), but she never gave up. She credits the support of staff and faculty for helping her along the way, and the respect is mutual. Dr. William Morrissette describes Samary as a “very dynamic and enthusiastic student with a great ability to fire up class discussions by way of her passion for criminal justice.”

We’re happy to highlight Samary’s student story as she continues on her journey towards her goal of becoming a parole officer.