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Nicole M. Young-Martin, Ed.D. G'23

The Bay Path doctorate was more than I could have asked for. There were so many cheerleaders and so many people who told me that I could be like the faculty.

Within each of our Bay Path community members is an inspirational story of perseverance and strength, and we are honored to share them. This narrative appeared on social media as part of Bay Path's #MyPath series.

“I'm a first-generation college graduate. From as early as I could remember, my parents told me, ‘You're going to college because we know that that's gonna change not only your trajectory but also the trajectory of the family’. 

“My initial career trajectory was getting my doctorate. I always wanted to work in cultural policy and to work as an advocate and lobbyist in DC. I began applying for Ph.D. programs and I kept getting rejected. That's when I went to get my MA in English from UMass. I applied again to PhD programs and just kept getting denied.

“I can’t remember how I found Bay Path’s EdD in Educational Leadership Program if it was a Facebook post, or an email. It was in higher education, organizational studies. That was an interest of mine after working at UMass. I really liked what I was doing working in student success, student mentoring and student leadership roles.

“At first I doubted this program because many of the people in my cohort were already in senior level positions at universities. But the Bay Path program was more than what I could have asked for.

“I am so grateful for this program because my self-esteem has changed a lot in terms of who I am as a leader. It was very hard work. Don't get me wrong. They work you very hard, but they always started from, ‘You are an expert. You are a leader already. We are here to refine and sharpen those skills as opposed to, let's take your weaknesses and try to fix those.’

“Now I recommend this program to so many people, some friends who are having challenges in their current doctoral programs, who are looking either to get their doctorates or because there is the ‘All But the Dissertation’ track.

“I have tons of stories of applying for jobs and interviews where people have challenged my experience. This is one of the reasons why I self-produce a lot of stuff, like my spoken word album. I self-produced an anthology because I just got sick and tired of being rejected by mainstream things.

“I am so grateful for my core group of friends. I have such an amazing friends’ circle who have done the thing already, and who have experienced the doors being closed and many of them keep me going.

“Now, a lot of doors are opening up for me. I think it's because I've worked so hard as an independent. I'm learning now as I get older, talent can only get you so far. Networking and making sure that the right person at the right time speaks your name is key.

“This is a reason why I am so big on trying to be that person for others. If I'm in an opportunity I'm bringing people with me. I'm really big on mentoring women, girls, and gender-diverse folks because I've had the door literally slammed on me multiple times.

“That's been my takeaway from all of this. Every little thing you accomplish is a big deal. Always celebrate every every milestone."—Nicole M. Young-Martin, Ed.D. (EdD in Educational Leadership)

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