Leah Simmons, Class of 2011

After I graduated in 2011, I moved to Boston and started my education at Northeastern University in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a minor in Ethics. I spent a year as a coxswain on our Division I women’s rowing team, founded a chapter of Scientista to empower pre-professional women in science, and have participated in backpacking trips with the Outdoors Club. Through Northeastern’s co-op program I have completed two six-month internships: one at Cubist Pharmaceuticals and my most recent one in the lab at the Sam Adams brewery.

“What has Trekkers meant to you through your life?” It’s impossible to fully explain to someone that did not go through the same process without it seeming cliche or exaggerated. I was forced outside of my comfort zone through adventure, had discussions about culture and diversity that probably would not have happened otherwise, and felt confident, capable, and empowered every step of the way. I learned so much about myself on every trip. Because of Trekkers, I looked at jumping into a sport that I knew nothing about as an adventure, utilized my leadership skills to develop a program on campus for a cause that I am passionate about, and sincerely like learning about different cultures and places. The biggest lesson that Trekkers taught me, though, is just to be happy. Do what makes you happy. Surround yourself by those that make you happy. Stay positive, follow your instinct, and live in the present.