“Teaching is something I love to do,” says Bressni Neary, who has graduated with majors in early childhood education and political science, and a minor in media studies. She is currently student-teaching first and second graders at the Children’s Workshop School in the East Village, where she hopes to be able to return when her Fulbright year ends.
The daughter of an Irish mother and an American father who was raised in Ireland, Neary grew up in Queens, where her parents met after moving from Ireland. A remarkably strong student, she attended a parochial high school on scholarship, applied to 20 highly selective colleges, and won admission to them all. While most acceptance letters came with financial-aid offers that fell significantly short of what her parents could afford, the exception was Hunter’s Macaulay Honors College. Macaulay offered her a rigorous education at no charge, along with a special community of talented young scholars and a free dorm in Manhattan.
Neary hasn’t looked back. She raves about the professors, classes, and rich opportunities she’s had at Hunter. But her path – like the academic paths of many bright, thoughtful students – was not a straight and certain one. She arrived at Hunter expecting to major in the sciences.