Student Stories
Finding Her Purpose  Web Director | June 2, 2022

Kyleigh Murchinson ’22 graduated this spring with a degree in psychology and a deep understanding of what she wants for her future. Like most college students, she did not always have the clarity she has today in identifying her purpose, but through several experiences she had as a student at Thomas College, she has been able to pursue her promising future.  

In 2018 she began her college career as an English major, with her eye on a career as a librarian. Very quickly she realized that this was not her path forward, but she decided to continue anyway, not knowing what else she could do.  

“I knew that I wanted to get my four-year degree, but I did not realize what I was capable of,” said Kyleigh, “As a first-generation college student, the world of higher education was an anomaly for me, and there were lots of factors that were encouraging me to quit.”  

She soon began slipping in her classes. That was when the Thomas College Student Success Center reached out, connecting her with the TRIO services on campus, including partnering her with one of the student success coaches. This support laid the foundation for the transformation that was coming next in her life.  

“During my sophomore year, I took a class called The Psychology of Criminal Behavior,” said Kyleigh. “This class was the experience that I needed to show me that I belong in the mental health field.” 

For the first time, Kyleigh could see her purpose. She changed her major to psychology, began getting better grades, and worked full time. In her last semester of college, she completed an internship with the Maine State Prison’s Intensive Mental Health Unit and landed a 4.0 GPA.  

She did all of this in the hopes that she could be accepted into a graduate program. That is exactly what is next for Kyleigh. This month she will begin the next step in her academic career at her top-choice graduate school, Smith College School of Social Work. From there, she plans to work with inmates on death row.  

Over the last four years Kyleigh has gained confidence in herself and an understanding of her life’s mission. The foundation that she has laid with the resources available to her at Thomas College is what will make her future adventures successful.   

“I have learned that being able to advocate for your own needs is crucial,” said Kyleigh. “I have developed these skills by being able to practice it in the safety of the Thomas environment.”  

Kyleigh’s compassion, and ability to advocate for herself and others, coupled with her rock-solid education, will provide not only a promising future for her, but for all the people she helps along the way. Kyleigh is destined to change the world, one person at a time.