Driven by social unrest, political upheaval, post COVID anxiety and a frenetic pace of life, more than 48% of the nation’s young adults have reported experiencing mental health symptoms in recent years. Nineteen-year-old Northampton Community College (NCC) student Bronwyn Pacchioli knows it all firsthand. “I had to deal with a lot of depression when I was in high school, and I wish I would have had someone to really talk to, someone who would have listened to me,” she said.
Pacchioli wants to become that person she wishes she had, for someone else. A psychology major, she feels, “there’s a real need for people to work in the field of mental health, and I’d like to be someone who fills that need.” She plans to graduate from NCC in Spring 2024 and continue her education at a four-year college in Pennsylvania with a focus on behavioral health. Eventually she plans to earn a master’s degree and work either in a hospital setting or establish her own practice.
“I had some second thoughts about being in college for a number of years to earn my graduate degree, but I know it will be worth it.”
Pacchioli started classes at NCC after graduating from Catasauqua High School in 2022 and was a bit anxious at first because she had experienced bullying in high school. She soon felt welcomed by students, faculty and staff and found the atmosphere on NCC’s campus to be a huge relief. “NCC is an example of how a place should be.”
Determined to get the most from her college experience, Pacchioli joined several on-campus organizations during her first year at NCC. Doing so enabled her to meet people outside of her major and experience campus activities. “It’s one thing to go to classes, do your work and go home, but there’s so much more than that to do here,” she said.
She believes she’ll be fully prepared for wherever her path takes her next. “My professors have been amazing at NCC, and I’ve learned so much from them. I’m really proud of how much I’ve advanced academically.”
When asked what she’s most excited for, she said, “I’m going to be one of those people who wakes up every morning and loves going to work,” she said. “I’m so excited to see what my future holds.”