In the Spotlight: Aug 27 Campus Connections

Student Profile
Leah Parrish, Student Senate president

A one-time high school dropout, Leah Parrish is now the Student Senate president. She has big ideas for the year ahead and is encouraging other students to get involved.

Leah grew up in Cape Elizabeth and, after leaving school her senior year, ended up earning her high school degree through a high school equivalency test. She then worked as a life skills trainer for a little over a year before enrolling in SMCC’s Computer Science program in the fall of 2017.

She expects to earn her degree next summer and continue her education at a four-year school before entering the workforce, where she would like to develop video games.

Leah served on the Student Senate last year and is serving as president for the 2018-19 academic year. She also serves as a student representative on the College Council and the college’s Student Welfare & Retention Committee.

For the coming year, she wants the Student Senate to spearhead improvements to the Captain’s House, which is home to the Beacon student newspaper, the Captain’s Cupboard food pantry and other student organizations. She also want students to get more involved in cultural events in Greater Portland, and hopes to establish a program where students can get tickets at discounted rates to concerts, plays and other events.

“The leadership on the Student Senate was turning over, and I realized this isn’t something I can’t do. Leadership is something anybody can do, you just have to step up and do it. So that’s what I did.”

Staff Profile
Erik Squire, 2nd time around

When he was a student at SMCC, Erik Squire earned a 4.0 GPA and was president of the Student Senate and Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Now he’s helping SMCC students succeed as the Midcoast Campus’ new advisor/success coach.

After Erik graduated from SMCC in 2016 with a degree in Education, he was given a full scholarship to the University of Southern Maine. He will complete his degree this summer in English with a minor in Educational Studies.

As a student at SMCC, Erik honed his leadership skills, established a network of lifelong friends and was named SMCC’s Student of the Year. As a success coach, he now hopes to take what he learned as a student and pass it along to current Midcoast Campus students.

After his one-year contract at SMCC is up, Erik will teach at a high-needs high school in Oakland, Calif., through Teach for America, a national organization that places recent college graduates in underserved schools across the country.

“I really love working with students. Even when I was a student, a big focus of mine was on leadership roles, student success and retention. Working one-on-one with students is awesome.”