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Miranda O’Hayer ’03

 

Miranda O’Hayer ‘03

miranda ohayer2Miranda O’Hayer ’03 (North Kingstown High School) graduated in 2007 from the University of Rhode Island with a B.A. in English Literature. “I studied English because I love to read and write,” Miranda says. “Additionally, the professors within the department are very smart, critical thinkers. I enjoyed learning from them and felt challenged by the material.” During her senior year, Miranda was honored with the URI President’s Award for Student Excellence in English. She also won a scholarship to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “It was a wonderful experience that broadened my horizons and made me consider working and living abroad,” she says. “I learned a lot about myself, and gained a new sense of independence and self-reliance.”

Miranda is currently employed as an AmeriCorps Project Director with RI Campus Compact (http://www.ricompact.org), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting community service and civic engagement in higher education. “I work directly with the Scholarships for Service Program, which places 100 college students in a term of service with local non-profits,” she says. “I enjoy working with college students and discovering ways for them to gain new skills while giving back to their communities.”

Even before joining RI Campus Compact, Miranda was very involved in helping students achieve academic success. She was an Instructor and Tutor for the Talent Development Program at URI and an Academic Advisor at the Community College of Rhode Island. She also worked for the National College Advising Corps at Brown University. “Being a Crusader is what made me choose to join the College Advising Corps after graduation and help other low-income students gain access to college,” she says. “I worked at Alvarez High School and the Community College of Rhode Island, assisting students with college applications and financial aid.

Miranda has great appreciation for her College Crusade scholarship. “The added financial support made all the difference in being able to afford college,” she says. “I also felt personally supported, knowing that as a Rhode Islander, there were other Rhode Islanders willing to invest in me. I am proud to be a College Crusader and I am very grateful for the scholarship I received.”

Considering Miranda’s wide experience in advising students, the advice she offers to Crusaders who are about to start college is valuable to hear. “Pursue what you’re passionate about,” she says, “but also have the courage to try new things. I look back on my college experience and wish I had taken a few classes outside of my major to diversify my experience. Maximize your experience. Go the extra mile, even if you’re not sure you can. We only grow by challenging ourselves and practicing the skills we want to get good at. Join the Honors Program. Become a TA to your favorite professor. Learn another language! These things will help you grow personally and academically and help you develop a sense of self-accomplishment. Most importantly,” she adds, “forge strong relationships with the people who support you so they will continue to do so after you graduate.”

In her free time, Miranda volunteers with English for Action (http://www.englishforaction.org), a nonprofit in Olneyville that provides ESL and civics-based education programming to the community. She is also a Fellow with the New Leaders Council, RI’s nonpartisan, nonprofit leadership training institute for the next generation of progressive political entrepreneurs and emerging leaders.

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