Amanda Delude will be the first female graduate under the Communications degree program at Nashua Community College and she wears this accomplishment with great pride. She has overcome so much in the past few years, and NCC has provided her the opportunity to excel in her field of study and grow personally and professionally. Faculty and students find her positive attitude to be contagious in and outside of the classroom. Throughout this academic year, Amanda was selected to represent NCC as host to some of the most prominent political figures that have visited NCC. Most recently, her accomplishments and enthusiasm were recognized when she was presented with the opportunity to serve as an NCC Ambassador.
Recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury presents its challenges emotionally and cognitively. After her accident, Amanda had quite a road ahead of her. She never gave up and fought her way through obstacles to return to college. When she was ready to ease back into her studies, NCC welcomed her with open arms. Amanda did not take NCC opportunities for granted, and quickly rose to the top. After some time of adjustment, Amanda was able to balance a full time job at Triangle Credit Union, a full NCC course load, TBI recovery challenges, and community commitments. In a short time, Amanda has truly beaten the odds.
Ms. Delude takes every opportunity to play an active role at NCC. Amanda has served as a guest speaker for Professor DiMaria's Introduction to Psychology course at NCC for the past 2 years. She has shared her TBI case study with the students with the hope to raise awareness from a patient's perspective. Her volunteer session with the classroom helps students grasp advanced concepts with real-life experience. Amanda facilitates an exciting class discussion; that allows students to explore the emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physiological challenges of the TBI experience. Her active involvement in this academic unit brings textbook concepts to life and her story leaves a lasting impact of inspiration. This guest speaking experience in the Psychology classroom inspired Amanda to go out into the community and support TBI survivors and their families throughout the region. She has been an active member of her hospital's TBI support group ever since her first guest appearance in Professor DiMaria's classroom in 2014.
Inspired by her personal journey, her experiences at NCC, and her community involvement, Amanda recently left her job at the credit union to devote her full attention to her career development. She was fortunate to connect with an exciting NCC internship opportunity this semester. Her academics, and internship with the Nashua Telegraph, now take up most of her waking hours. Ms. Delude has made quite an impact right from the start with the Telegraph, and takes every opportunity to report on community events to raise awareness in our area. In her first two weeks at the Telegraph, Amanda has shown her support for a variety of community functions and two of her news stories have already made the front page of the paper. Her supervisor has approved Amanda's latest story pitch and agreed to publish a four part series on TBI this March. It is Amanda's goal to provide a powerful voice for survivors to honor Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness.
Ever since I became a student at Nashua Community College in the fall of 2013, I never took my education for granted. I took my coursework very seriously, turning in all my assignments on time and never missing class. During the summer of 2014, Professor DiMaria asked me if I'd like to share my experiences about what living with traumatic brain injury (TBI) was like with her psychology class. It was then when I realized how much I enjoyed bringing my TBI experiences to the classroom and putting them into relatable and understandable perspectives for others. In October 2014, I joined a TBI support group at St. Joseph's Hospital where I continue to share my experiences with others, relate to survivors, and discuss the difficulties of what living with TBI is like and how to cope with those difficulties. I never gave up and got through everything that I have due to my positivity and motivation. I also received a tremendous amount of love and support from my family and friends, which I am forever grateful for. I was given a second chance at life and realized how important having an education is. Odds were against me after having learned about the severity of my TBI, and how successful I was going to be with my education. I've used the struggles I faced during my TBI recovery and proved to myself that I had the strength and determination needed to be successful. I had my life unfairly and temporarily taken away from me and was thankfully able to get it back. I hope to continue being involved within my community and further help the public understand and be aware of the severity of brain injuries. We are who we are because of the struggles we've been faced with.