Life’s struggles can take their toll on even the best of us. They’ve doubled down on our young students who increasingly wrestle with mental health issues that were unthinkable even five years ago.

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.

Nineteen-year-old NCC student Bronwyn Pacchioli knows it all first hand. “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.

“I want to become that person I wish I’d had, for someone else.”

Motivated by her own struggles, Pacchioli is on a path to pursuing a career in psychology so that she can help individuals overcome their challenges and follow her heart to support others.

“I just know 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,” Pacchioli said. She plans to graduate from NCC in spring 2024 and then continue her education at a four-year college 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.

Pacchioli started classes at NCC after graduating from Catasauqua High School in 2022, and was a bit anxious at first. But she soon felt welcomed and found the atmosphere on NCC’s campus to be a huge relief. “NCC is an example of how a place should be.”

“I believe I’ll be fully prepared for wherever I end up next,” she said. “My professors have been amazing, and I’ve learned so much from them. I’m really proud of how much I’ve advanced academically and I’ve been grateful for the support I’ve gotten at NCC.”