As the youngest of three siblings, Hannah Croce of Hudson, NH had watched her two older brothers begin their post-high school pathway at Nashua Community College (NCC). While Hannah didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do in the future, her brothers had gone on to find success in their respective fields and encouraged her to follow in their footsteps by beginning her higher education with a broad, generalized approach.
“I had known that both of my brothers had studied liberal arts and that it was the best path to take for transferring credits [into a more specialized program] in the future. I was a generalist with my classes. I followed a liberal arts path the entire way through and focused my electives on finance courses because I knew that they were transferrable skills that I could use in any career. Originally, I wanted to be a lawyer, so I planned on attending community college as the first step to going on to law school.”
While attending NCC, Hannah took advantage of any and every opportunity the college afforded to her, which were many. She became heavily involved in extra-curricular student life on campus and was elected to the Student Senate, serving as Secretary and then President. Her leadership roles further expanded when she was asked to join the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) Board of Trustees as a student representative. It was this powerful experience of having her voice truly heard that further empowered her to speak up for herself and her peers.
“[Nashua Community College] President Jordan was so wonderful with getting me involved in the CCSNH Board of Trustees and really pushing me to speak up. Whenever I would raise my hand to give input, everyone in the room stopped to listen. Now I’m much more confident and recognize how important it is for my generation and people from a similar background to mine to contribute our unique perspectives. This experience led me to think more about student engagement and how I could get move involved with peer leadership.”
Hannah graduated from NCC in 2018 and had the honor of serving as the student commencement speaker. Following those formative years at NCC, Hannah transferred to Northeastern University in Boston where she became heavily involved in campus leadership and peer mentoring, specifically for transfer students like herself. She found it enabled her to empower and inspire others coming from a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints. While at Northeastern and working towards her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Political Science and Economics, Hannah participated in a cooperative education (co-op) program at an investment management firm where she was able to see the positive social and environmental changes affected by her research and involvement.
Now, Hannah is raising her voice and making an impact across the country at a private equity firm in Los Angeles and is always on the lookout for new opportunities to be a champion of the underrepresented and a role model for other ambitious young professionals eager to effect positive change.
“I felt so empowered leaving NCC. I’m having a huge impact by investing millions of dollars according to environmental, social and governance criteria that go far beyond just dollars in pockets. I am so grateful for everything that the world has to offer and that I have to offer to the world—it was NCC that gave me the skills and confidence to step out and be excited.”