BROCKTON, Mass. ---- Laura Nieske, a 2019 graduate of Massasoit and former women's soccer and softball student-athlete, will be the student speaker at the 2019 Commencement set for Friday at 11 AM on the Brockton campus.
Nieske, who will graduate on Friday with an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice, was thrilled when the speech she emailed to the Dean of Students Office was selected as the winner.
"It's awesome!" Nieske said ecstatically. "I am not one to want to speak in front of a large group of people. But, I got the email (from the Dean of Student's Office), sat down and wrote something out that happened to be about two-and-a-half minutes long. I wrote it out straight from the heart, everything I could possibly have to say about being here at Massasoit. Sent it in and they picked mine."
After struggling in classes at a four-year institution, Nieske transferred to Massasoit in the fall of 2017. Once here, she thrived both athletically and academically. She was a two-time Athletic Academic Honor Roll recipient, an all-region selection in soccer and helped the softball team capture the Region 21 title in the spring of 2018.
"I'm very proud of Laura and what she has accomplished at Massasoit," Athletics Director Julie Mulvey said. "During her first semester at the Massasoit, she was adamant about dropping her speech class for fear of speaking in front of others. After meeting with her speech professor, he waylaid her fears and gave her the confidence she needed to confront this fear. And now she is speaking before her Graduating class and all our guests. It's amazing to see how much she has grown."
Nieske pointed out that faculty, administration and Massasoit as whole really cared about her and that made it easier to succeed.
"The difference between the four year and (Massasoit) is that everyone at here wants you to move forward and they want you to do the best that you can with whatever else you have going on in your life," she said. "It's just not school, school, school. (Faculty & Administration) understand you have a family at home, you have two jobs, you have all this other stuff going on and they actually get that. (Faculty) expects you to do well to get through it and get your degree."
Getting a degree is something Nieske will proudly earn on Friday as one of 29 former Massasoit student-athletes to be recognized at graduation.