Miranda Trexler ’21 is a first-generation college-goer at Thomas who is remaining remarkably resilient in the face of the many challenges of this year, and a series of challenges beyond campus. Before the pandemic hit, Miranda faced unique personal challenges: her family was homeless, and she was the sole financial provider. She worked hard to provide for her parents and very young sibling.
At Thomas, Miranda has gotten the support she needs as she builds a future for herself. “Thomas won’t stop fighting for your education,” she says, “if you don’t, either.”
Before COVID-19 started making headlines, Miranda Trexler was facing challenges that most people will never encounter. She and her family were homeless, spending most nights in the basement of her aunt’s home. The only person able to secure employment in her entire family, Miranda worked as much as she could in support of her family.
Financially, it was a very tough time for her. When she arrived at Thomas in 2019, she had only fifty dollars in her pocket. “My mom couldn’t even bring me back to school because she couldn’t afford the gas to drive me,” Miranda recalls. Miranda continued to pursue her education while also working full-time. Then, when the pandemic hit, she was able to move her parents and baby brother into a one-bedroom trailer. However, the pressures only seemed to increase. “At the time, my two-year-old brother was in and out of the Boston Children’s Hospital, and my money was going towards my family’s basic needs. It was very stressful.”
“I knew how important a college degree was and what a difference it would make in my life, but I didn’t know if I would be able to continue,” adds Miranda, who is a Psychology major interested in a career that will allow her to help others.
Thankfully, Miranda was able to participate in supportive programs at Thomas to help her advance her goals. She took part in the EDGE Program (now Early Start); is a Jobs for Maine’s Graduates student; and is also a TRIO student – all efforts designed to provide personalized support, including financial relief and personal planning tools. “I could never thank the people here at Thomas College enough for helping me to stay on track to achieve my education,” she says.
Miranda is slated to earn her degree in 2021 and, in the meantime, participates in clubs as an active member of campus.
To support Miranda and her classmates, please consider making a gift to the College for academic or student success programs, or for scholarship aid. Visit wwwold.thomas.edu/give to make your contribution by December 31. Thank you!