Celine Boutin ’17 began thinking seriously about college the summer after 5th grade. Yes, that early. That’s when she became involved with Breakthrough Manchester, a program that aims to set kids on the path to higher education before they even hit middle school.
Talk about a payoff. Today, the Hamel Scholar is in the UNH honors nursing program, minoring in philosophy and holding down two jobs—she’s a peer advisor at Hood House and a bus driver for Wildcat Transit—while serving as a resident assistant in Stoke Hall.
“I have known since high school that I wanted to do medicine,” Boutin says. “I have always loved science and for me, medicine combines that love with being able to give back and help others.
Boutin is thinking about going into labor and delivery possibly emergency medicine after she graduates. She's working in a nursing home right now as part of her clinical requirements and hopes to get a job in a hospital this summer as a licensed nursing assistant (LNA). " I’d like to try out a lot of things," she laughs.
Boutin was a senior at The Derryfield School in Manchester, a college preparatory high school where she was president of the debating club and editor of the school’s literary magazine, when she learned she’d been named a Hamel Scholar. The program for top Granite State students with strong leadership skills was launched by a gift from New Hamsphire resident Dana Hamel, a longtime supporter of UNH.
Senior year was also about the time Boutin began volunteering with Breakthrough Manchester. She still goes back every summer; last year she served as the nonprofit’s operations coordinator.
Boutin also spent a good part of her summer working with professor Charles Putnam to develop an online course about homicide for middle and high school students.
“I had experience developing curriculum from volunteering with Breakthrough so I worked as his instructional assistant,” the Manchester resident says. “It was a big part of my summer.”
Next year she will apply to the accelerated nursing master’s program and, if accepted, will decide between two of the three tracks offered. For her, the choice comes down to evidence-based nursing, an approach to care based on personal clinical experience, or clinical nurse leader, where nurses oversee a group of patients and a medical team. (The program’s third option is nurse practitioner.)
“The problem is I want to do both,” Boutin says.
"I love it here. There is so much to do; I wish I could do it all.”
In addition to her studies and two jobs, Boutin also tries to attend monthly meetings with other Hamel scholars. In the spring she will join them in a service project.
“At first, I didn’t know if I wanted to come here but UNH made it very affordable with the Hamel scholarship,” Boutin says. “And I love it here. There is so much to do; I wish I could do it all.”
Hamel Scholars are funded through the generosity of Dana Hamel, a longtime supporter of UNH. Are you a New Hampshire high school student with good grades and strong leadership skills? Find out how you could receive a Hamel scholarship.
Do you want to help fund scholarships for UNH students? Find out how.