Featured image of article: Featured Alum: Hannah Garfinkle (Class of 2017)

Featured Alum: Hannah Garfinkle (Class of 2017)

After graduating from ConVal High School in June 2017, Hannah Garfinkle enrolled at the University of New Hampshire and graduated as a University Scholar in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Management and Policy: Program and Event Management, with an additional minor in Health Management and Policy: Public Health.

Hannah currently works at Vanderbilt University as a Program Coordinator in the School of Medicine where she collaborates with faculty members and healthcare professionals from Vanderbilt, Lipscomb University, and the University of Tennessee to offer interprofessional learning opportunities to over 80 students studying Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Counseling, and Social Work.

Here is Hannah’s reflection:

“I was fortunate enough to have an incredibly positive high school experience at ConVal. I played field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, and was involved in clubs like Student Athletic Leadership Team, while also serving on Prom Committee and helping out, on an as-needed basis, with student council.”

“Serving in leadership roles throughout my time at ConVal instilled the confidence I needed to serve as a leader in all aspects of my life. I will always be grateful for all of the mentors I had along the way, whether that was upperclassmen, coaches, faculty, or staff. My involvement in athletics and extracurriculars ultimately shaped the direction of my career. I proudly chose Recreation Management and Policy as my path of study, where I realized that I could pursue a career in what I loved the most.”

“From an academic standpoint, I feel that I was more prepared than most of my peers when I went to college. I obtained several academic skills at ConVal that not only transferred into my life as a college student, but into my life as a regular citizen in society. ConVal always harped on the importance of note-taking, meeting deadlines, studying, group projects, etc. Spoiler alert – you will need those skills beyond high school. Whether you decide to enter the workforce, enlist in the military, go to college, pick up a trade, volunteer, etc., you will always need to be able to work with others, you will always have a schedule, you will always need to remember details, etc. The skills that ConVal had taught me through academic schooling have been utilized in my personal and professional life.”

“During my 4 years at ConVal, thanks to Mr. Bowman, I was lucky enough to tag along with the student council on their annual trip to New York City to volunteer with the Youth Service Opportunities Project, where we engaged in service experiences that provided us with hands-on volunteer work throughout the city. I believe these trips were the moments that defined my passion for volunteering.”

Since my time at ConVal, I have volunteered in a few capacities. I volunteered with UNH Athletics where I gained a well-rounded understanding for the Division 1 sports world. I also volunteered with Northeast Passage, a non-profit Recreational Therapy and Adaptive Sports program. I coached youth sled hockey for participants with physical disabilities. My love for sports only grew deeper through this experience and I consider it a privilege to have contributed to these kids’ lives at any capacity.”

“After my graduation from UNH, I made a big move, 1200 miles from home where I landed in Nashville, TN. I accepted a job as a Program Coordinator at Vanderbilt University where I support students who are entering into the medical fields. Working in higher education has been such a rewarding experience, and I have learned so much from my colleagues and students who come from all different backgrounds and interests.”

“I am still heavily involved in volunteering, working at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee where I help organize and sort food for underserved populations in middle Tennessee. I am also a volunteer coach for a girl’s youth hockey team with the Nashville Jr. Predators for the 2022-2023 season where I look forward to my involvement in the Nashville hockey community.”

“My time at ConVal laid the groundwork for what was to come in my next chapters. The faculty and staff who choose to work at ConVal are one of a kind, and we are so lucky to know them. I feel truly grateful for the time I spent in the district and the education I received.”

“If you are a current student, my word of assurance would be that you are almost always more prepared for things than you think you are. My word of advice would be to learn from every person and opportunity that you are presented with, to enter every situation with an open mind, to listen more than you speak, and to never judge people by their cover. Like Mr. Putnam always says every morning: ‘Win the day!'”