Transfer Focus: Jay Eveson ’20

Photo of Jay Eveson ’20

Name: Jay Eveson

Previous colleges: Thomas Nelson Community College and Holyoke Community College

Hometown: I grew up in the military, so I don’t really have a hometown or state. I mostly grew up in Hampton, Virginia, and my family currently lives in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs

Possible major: psychology

Why Mount Holyoke: Initially, I was really looking at UMass Amherst, mainly because I didn’t think I could ever get in to any of the Seven Sisters colleges. I had guaranteed admission, so it seemed like the obvious choice. My adviser at Holyoke Community College, Irma Medina, was the first one to really hammer into me that I needed to be looking at Mount Holyoke, Smith and other similar schools.

After getting my acceptance letters, touring the campuses and speaking to current students, my heart quickly became set on Mount Holyoke. Not only was it set in a calmer, more small-town environment, it was increasingly obvious that the campus was better suited to my needs as a disabled student. Compared to the other schools I looked at, the campus culture was much more appealing because students cared about their academics and also about one another. Students here are competitive, but not in the “I’m going to win and be better than you,” way. Students here are much more competitive in the “I’m going to win, and I’m going to help you win, too,” way. Does that make sense?

Favorite places so far: I’ve lived in the area for three years, but I’d actually never even set foot on Mount Holyoke’s campus until this past year. I really enjoy the Community Center and the new Dining Commons, though I think the Dining Commons are probably going to be a universal favorite among students. I’m pretty fond of the Hadley and South Hadley areas, because I love rural scenery and the small ice cream joints that seem to pop up sporadically no matter where I am. In South Hadley, I have to say my favorite place to go is the library on Canal Street. It’s near one of my best friends and the little courtyard is the best place to sit and read a book.

In 10 years: I’d love to still be living and working in western Massachusetts, if possible. Hopefully with a Ph.D. to my name. There’s a distinct need here for resources for autistic adults and I’d like to continue helping to address that need in any capacity I can.

Noteworthy work/volunteer experience: At my previous college, I did a lot of work with several different clubs. Most notably, the Students on the Autism Spectrum Club (S.A.S). We held panels and workshops on sensory processing, self-stimulatory behaviors and autism. We also held a transfer event for autistic students who were thinking about starting college that inspired several students to register for classes. The club was featured in the Daily Hampshire Gazette and inspired other groups at other community colleges, as well. Currently, I work with an organization called Pathlight, which works with disabled children and adults. Mainly, I work with their Autism Connections program as an individual support specialist helping other autistic people one-on-one. I also work with Whole Children, teaching classes at their inclusive community center in Hadley.

Career aspirations: I’d like to be able to work with other autistic people such as myself in some capacity. However, what I would most like to do is open up a community center specifically for autistic people that offers both counseling services and social and community outreach services. I’m really interested in helping the community understand autism as a culture, as opposed to the disorder it has commonly been understood to be.

Proudest moments: When I graduated high school, I was very proud of myself. During my last two years of high school I was very ill, and so couldn’t attend school and had a teacher come to my home. I didn’t think I would graduate, let alone graduate with honors and a fairly decent GPA. I also didn’t expect that I’d ever be able to finish my associates degree, and yet, on June 2, I did just that. However, I have to say that getting my acceptance letter to Mount Holyoke College ranks pretty high up there on proudest moments.

My family: My family consists of three dogs (Sam, Bandit and Isis), my parents, Joseph and Martina, and my guinea pigs, Lucy, Autumn and Holly. Most of my extended family is scattered across the United States or living in Germany.

Patronus: You might see me wearing a shirt saying that my patronus is a guinea pig, but according to Pottermore, it’s a West Highland terrier. This means that I’m sensitive to change and always alert, which I think definitely describes me.

TV show: “Star Trek.” I like the original, but I’m also a huge fan of “Voyager.”

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