Achieving dreams

Harmony Birch '17

To help students like Harmony, make your gift here. 

Harmony Birch '17, a junior at MCLA, spent most of her childhood moving from one place to another. When asked where she comes from, she waves her hand, shrugs and says, “a little bit of everywhere.” For Harmony home is the place where you feel stable and secure, it’s the place where the people you love are. MCLA has been Harmony’s home since she first stepped foot on campus. 

“When I was touring colleges it was the only place I could actually see myself being at, it’s the only place I’ve ever felt that I truly belonged,” Harmony said.

A journalism student, Harmony spends most of her time in The Beacon newsroom. When she’s not busy working, she can be found at the Church Street Center rehearsing Shakespeare shows, or in the Honors lounge discussing politics. She loves studying English and communication in all of its forms, and believes in the power of media and the written word to jumpstart lasting change.

Harmony attributes the relationships she’s formed at MCLA with students and faculty for giving her the confidence to achieve her dreams. With their support, she has started to dive into the world of journalism. This semester she is co-editor-in-chief of The Beacon, last semester she co-founded the MCLA chapter of Her Campus, an online lifestyle publication, and over the summer, she completed an internship with Berkshires Week and Shires of Vermont, after receiving the Ellen J. Bernstein/Gadsby Fund for Journalism Multicultural Internship scholarship.

As Harmony looks forward to her senior year she plans to continue her work with The Beacon and online lifestyle publication Her Campus, and to expand her education in Arts Management and Women Studies. Harmony strongly believes that her public liberal arts education has prepared her to explore many different career opportunities and that the “real world” is full of endless potential. “I’m excited to see where my journey will take me after I graduate. I envision myself working as a journalist for a major media company, as a freelance writer traveling the world, or in public relations and communications for a nonprofit organization.”

During her time at MCLA, Shadea has fully embraced the many opportunities available to her, participating in theatre, the WJJW Radio Station, and Dance Company. This semester, Shadea is embarking on what may be “one of the most rewarding experiences of her life,” studying abroad at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas. While there she will be taking classes in English, Communications, and Theatre, auditioning for their dance team, and exploring opportunities with the University’s radio station. Shadea’s study abroad experience was made possible through the National Student Exchange Program and was funded by applying her financial aid awards from MCLA. 
Shadea is just one example of the impact financial aid makes. Did you know that 46% percent of all MCLA students were eligible for Federal Pell Grants last year and that 90% of all MCLA students applied for financial aid? Due to this increasingly pressing need, this year the College has introduced a special scholarship initiative to help increase funds available to our students and their families. The need is greater now than ever before. When you give to the Alumni Fund, you are making it possible for MCLA’s students, like Shadea, to begin and complete their journey; allowing them to fulfill their dreams and discover their passions. 



Copyright 2015 Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts