Zachary Eastman ’21 could have been discouraged by his dismal start at college. The school at which he began his education was “too large, too expensive, and didn’t really offer the services and support I needed,” Zach says. Thanks to donors like you, he found the environment and opportunities he needed at Plymouth State.
Zach’s journey is nothing short of inspiring. During high school, he was homeless or couch-hopping, and working two jobs to make ends meet and to afford his first semester of college.
“The adjustment period was rough for me,” Zach recalls of the initial experience. “I was working full time and taking a full course load. I had a 1.57 GPA in my first semester and was in a bad spot.”
After a few semesters, Zach decided to change his life and transfer to Plymouth State. “I arrived here on January 2, 2019. It was absolutely the best decision I’ve ever made,” Zach says. He attributes his success at Plymouth State to the small, tight-knit community, the availability of staff, small class sizes, the ability to network, and the endless opportunities for clubs, employment, sports, and educational groups.
“My education is the most important thing in my life,” Zach says gratefully. “I credit scholarship money for everything—I wouldn’t be here without Plymouth State donors. I want to meet as many donors as I can and let them know that I’m proud to do them a service by working hard at Plymouth. With so much negativity in the world right now, they’re helping me do something really positive.”
He works five jobs on campus and is president of the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. That 1.57 GPA? He now boasts a 3.94 in his business administration major. He’s using his final semester to apply his education to real-world experience and get his motivational speaking career off the ground.
Through the Enactus Club, he’s working on a social enterprise that will help the University and its students. “I wanted to use my experience as a homeless student to create something I wish I had at the time—a one-stop-shop for services like housing, food, and health insurance,” he describes. This fall, Zach will be co-running a class with a professor where 12 students will brainstorm how to bring this idea to fruition—building a website, planning a location, and mapping out opportunities for social work students to be employed there.
“I have another year before graduating and the opportunities are still coming in,” Zach says. “I’m a firm believer that you can create your own environment, and I’m so grateful for the Plymouth State donors who make an education here possible for students like me.”