My name is Abigail Thomson and I am an 18 year old graduate of the Boston Latin School. I am spending this summer interning with Speaker Robert DeLeo through the ward fellowship and playing tournament softball before heading off to Grinnell College in Iowa. Right now you’re probably thinking Iowa? Really? What kind of self-respecting New Englander would choose corn and pigs over green mountains and rolling oceans? Hopefully by the end of my bio you’ll understand why I’m thrilled to be spending the next four years of my life in America’s heartland.
I was born and raised on Prince Street in Jamaica Plain, perfectly situated in between the Arnold Arboretum and Jamaica Pond. As a result of this, and the fact that my dad was a stay at home father who had time for such things, my younger brother and I spent most of our childhoods outside on long walks and bike rides, learning about nature and the benefits of fresh air. While I might not appreciate all that nature has to offer – spiders and I don’t always see eye to eye – I developed an incredible love of the outdoors that has only grown over time; so naturally I was enthralled by the opportunity to spend my summers at Camp Betsey Cox for girls in rural Vermont. Nine summers later that remains the best decision I have ever made. I was a camper there for five years before being selected for their three year leadership development program that leads one into being a full staff member. Those three years were amazing for me. I would come home at the end of each summer having a whole new understanding of my strengths, weaknesses, and general character traits. I learned how to work closely with adults of all ages, manage young children, and handle any problems that arose while staying calm, all important skills that have brought me far. Because of the eight summers I spent at camp I have come to possess leadership skills that many never have the opportunity to hone. Camp has also given me another thing, a love for small, tight-knit communities where everyone knows and trusts one another; which is exactly, as I came to realize during the college search process, the kind of atmosphere I wanted to study in and live in for the next four years.
Growing up in Jamaica Plain, my parents chose to send me to public school, so I attended the Curley. The Curley has changed a lot since I was there but at the time I attended, being white and upper middle class meant I was a minority. Growing up in this community had a significant effect on my view of the world and the types of atmospheres I enjoy living in. Grinnell has high levels of both racial and socioeconomic diversity as well as accepting a large number of international students. Diversity and an overall liberal minded community have always been important to me. My time in public school and in Jamaica Plain has taught me about the importance of education and providing opportunities to people of all backgrounds. My childhood gave me the opportunity to see the issues in this world, and I hope to use my education, leadership skills, and political drive to fix them.