Nicole Hays always liked science. This fall she will be able to study it full time when she begins her studies at Northeastern University. She is still in the early stages of deciding exactly what her expertise will be, whether it's medicine or research.
“I chose Northeastern because of their amazing labs and their co-op program,” Hays said.
Northeastern undergraduate students can gain 18 months of professional experience based on their major or career interests.
“It helps prepare you for the real world and the labs will help me decide where I want to go in the field of medicine.”
She has a great sense of preparing for what comes next.
This past year Hays was chosen to participate in the statewide MMSI program. received a grant for qualifying Advanced Placement students to participate in the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative. This group of kids spent Saturdays honing their expertise in math and science for upcoming AP exams. The classes rotated between schools, and Milford hosted two of the Saturday study sessions.
“It was interesting to be able to compare notes with students from other schools," she said. "You could talk about how something was being taught or if there was an easier way to do a function.”
Her school work is not all that distinguishes this highly motivated young lady.
Hays started playing the violin in third grade at Woodland Elementary School. She also plays the viola, is a percussionist and plays the piano. She is in the Milford High School orchestra, the jazz band and the marching band. She is a member of the Music National Honor Society as well as the National Honor Society.
The piano is her favorite instrument.
“I love playing them all but probably will continue playing piano. It’s one of those things where you can go into a room, there’s a piano and someone asks if anyone plays, and you can say ‘Me!’ and you sit down and play.”
Hays filled her scant free time studying with the Math League and preparing for the Academic Decathalon. She volunteered with the CARE and SADD programs and is a member of the Varsity Girls Tennis team. She also has an after-school job, and hopes to pick up a second job for the summer in order to put away some money for college.
The energy of youth and such promise. What is she going to miss?
“My class. Everyone is ready to move on, but I’ll miss seeing all their faces. We’ve been together since kindergarten. It will be odd to not see them every day. But I’m really looking forward to being in the city. I love Boston and the energy and I can’t wait to get started.”