Student Stories

Giving The Gift of Access

Delaney Smith ’20

Growing up, Delaney Smith was always reminded by her parents of how fortunate they were and how important it was to give back. “My father always helped others with free law support, and my mother spent her free time supporting disabled children in distressed homes,” says Delaney. “I grew up watching my parents support their community, and for eight years, my brothers and I hosted a Fresh Air camper during the summer. Experiencing as much as we did giving to others, we received even more in return, and I saw how exposure to different opportunities could change lives.

“Entering high school, New Hampton School became my new home. I immediately benefited from the close friendships with my classmates and teachers and being challenged in and out of the classroom. During my sophomore year, I participated in a Project Week session at a New England boarding school for students who leave their homes when parents are not able to care for them. My week started out working with the small children, and by the end, I was spending more time with the eighth graders, many of whom shared stories that moved me. I learned that most of the students were being sent back to their past lives. As the months went by, I thought about those students, and others like them, and wished for them to have the same experience as me. 

“When reaching out to my parents about my idea to start a scholarship in support of students like the ones I had just spent time with during Project Week, I was pointed towards a trust that donates money to important causes. I worked on a proposal to present to the Board of Directors during the beginning of my junior year. I worked with the school to create a compelling explanation as to why I thought we needed to offer a deserving student this same great opportunity I had. I believed it was my responsibility to give something back after experiencing everything New Hampton School gave me. 

“My senior year, the first student from this scholarship became a Husky. I want to make it my mission for people in need to have the ability to attend New Hampton School, not only because the school has so much to offer, but they have so much to offer in return. Now a graduate of New Hampton, I realize the power I have to give back to a school that gave me so much, and through the support of others I hope to expand this project.”

“I believe it is my responsibility to give something back after experiencing everything New Hampton School gave me.”

Delaney Smith ’20