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How an eight-​​hour car ride helped one freshman find her home at Northeastern

Portrait of student Denise Bates

Freshman Denise Bates, who plans to pursue a double major in Eng­lish and his­tory, “fell in love” with Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram and “awe-​​inspiring” campus when she toured the campus for the first time, but she strug­gled inter­nally with how she would regain in New Eng­land the com­mu­nity she’d built back home in Arkansas. An eight-hour car ride to an accepted student event in Texas sealed the deal for her.

One of Denise Bates’ favorite books is Matilda, by Roald Dahl. It’s a story about a young girl who doesn’t quite know what to do with her own unique abil­i­ties and winds up finding strength in her own power and goodwill.

It seems only fit­ting that the North­easten freshman—who has vol­un­teered for years with myriad orga­ni­za­tions built around helping and empow­ering young girls—would iden­tify with Matilda’s story.

I think we all go through that lack of con­fi­dence phase when we’re younger, and reading about this girl who was strong and pow­erful really res­onated with me,” said Bates, SSH’21. “I’ve worked with a lot of kids, but if I see girls espe­cially strug­gling in ways I have in the past, I want to help.”

Read the full story at news@Northeastern.

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