Growing up wasn’t easy for Skyler Lewis ’21. Skyler was raised by a single mom and is one of five children, one of which has autism, and the youngest is three years old. So, Skyler did a lot of babysitting. She spent most of her time cooking them dinner, watching them, or helping them with their homework. They lived in the small town of Jay, Maine, so there wasn’t a lot to do. So, she got a job and participated in school clubs.
“The only thing I could really do for myself was focus on my education,” she said.
When looking at colleges to attend, Skyler had a strong urge to get away from the stress of home and her small town. She looked at many out-of-state colleges but decided in the end she didn’t want to be so far from her family.
“When I decided I wanted to stay close, that’s when I took a tour of Thomas. From the moment I took my first tour, I knew this is where I wanted to be. I knew I’d be happy here,” said Skyler. “I felt welcomed, loved, and supported from the students and faculty members.
“I chose Thomas because family is important to me, just like it is to Thomas,” she said. “Not only did our values line up, but it also offered me an academic challenge which was a crucial deciding factor for me, since I had been so dedicated to my grades.”
Skyler is a Kiest-Morgan Scholar, a program where she can obtain her bachelor’s degree in three years instead of four.
Because of her upbringing, a big concern to Skyler was affording college. Luckily, because of her hard work, she was awarded the Mitchell Scholar award.
“Just like Thomas College, the Mitchell Scholars program had my back when needed. It offers extra support meetings and a financial safety net just in case I need it,” said Skyler. “The safety net is really important to me because growing up I was always conscious about having enough money for gas or food or something else I felt we needed as a family. To be able to have that in my corner has been so relieving to me.”
Skyler is majoring in Communications with a concentration in PR/Marketing and is a member of ten clubs.
“The reason why I joined so many clubs is not only because I like to stay busy, but also because they all offer a different way for me to give back to the Thomas College community,” said Skyler. “I want to be able to say I did something to make a difference because Thomas made a difference for me.”
Although Skyler has only been a Thomas student for a month, she’s already loving her experience.
“I am very excited about being at Thomas and being able to pursue so many new activities and opportunities,” said Skyler. “I never imagined that I would be able to get out of my small town and do something important with my life. I am incredibly thankful.”