Natalie Petit '12 - Politics and History/Criminal Justice


"My passion is helping others," says Natalie Petit, who will graduate from Curry College in 2012 with a double major in Criminal Justice and Politics and History. "I've always liked law enforcement, politics and community organizing, and I enjoy helping people improve, especially juveniles who've been in trouble with the law and are on probation, or students willing to excel."

As a double major, Natalie enjoys exploring the relationship between helping people reform within the criminal justice system and understanding how politics affects the laws that are created to achieve society's goals. "I always believe something good can be found in everyone," says Natalie. "Learning more about probation and the legal system is teaching me how I can be part of the recovery process and help people improve their lives."

Although she has lots of favorite classes, Natalie says Introduction to Politics and History really opened her eyes about how politics relates to life. Natalie expanded that awareness through a hands-on internship with the Governor's Council at the Massachusetts Statehouse, where she handles notary public filings and sits in on Governor's Council meetings with the Lieutenant Governor as judicial nominations are approved. "I've learned a lot about the way politics operates at the state level and the different styles of government," says Natalie.

One of Natalie's favorite professors? That would be Kathleen O'Donnell in the Politics and History department. "She's always telling me, 'I'm just trying to be your No. 1 Fan,'" says Natalie. "That's what makes Curry such a great place."

Natalie came to Curry College from Lowell, Mass., when her high school counselor recommended a campus visit. "As soon as I went to Curry's Admission Office, I knew this was the place for me," says Natalie. "My classes are small and the professors are very supportive. It feels like a home away from home."

Getting involved in campus activities also expands Natalie's view of her possibilities. She can be found almost everywhere! As a project manager in the Student Center, Natalie helps promote campus events, oversees the office, and works out event logistics. "Anyone can be active at Curry," says Natalie. "I went to the Student Activities Office right away because I knew I wanted to learn how clubs and organizations functioned at Curry and to see which ones would be right for me." As a result, she joined Curry Cares, the Politics & History Club - where she serves as co-president - and the Multicultural Club. Lately, Natalie has become part of the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Pre-Law Club. She's also a resident assistant who likes planning social activities for her floor.

In addition to her campus leadership and accomplishments, Natalie was selected to attend the weeklong National Education for Women in Leadership conference, sponsored by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College, where she networked with lawyers and elected officials while learning more about politics, lobbyists and differences in how states handle key issues. In 2009, Natalie launched the Women of Excellence community forum that honored four area women in science, politics and other fields, and brought to campus a number of speakers who shared their life experiences and networked with Curry students. In September 2010, Natalie was instrumental in the creation of the Lieutenant Governor Candidate Forum held on Curry's campus, with media coverage provided by students from Curry's Communication department.

From her first semester, Natalie has also taken advantage of the writing assistance offered by Curry's Academic Performance Center. "I've really gained confidence about my writing, how I approach a subject, finding the right words to use, how to connect the dots, how to organize my thoughts and get them on paper."

When she's not in class, Natalie enjoys hanging out in the Student Center, the Student Activities Office or the North Campus Residence Hall where she lives. "You can always find someone to talk to, see others you know or catch up on homework," says Natalie. On weekends, she's involved with church groups and a ministry that travels to cities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including Brockton, Waltham and Providence.

"My experiences at Curry have really broadened my view of my career and my life," says Natalie. "Now I'm thinking about becoming a detective, a community organizer, a politician or maybe starting a youth community center as an entrepreneur. With my Curry education, I feel like I'll have lots of options throughout my life."


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