Neiha Nasruddin Nathani
Technology (Laptop) Scholarship;
Majoring in Early Childhood Education.
Next Steps: Pursing a master’s degree and opening her own childcare/learning center
‘I feel at home at Gateway. It was meant to be that I came here.’
Neiha Nasruddin Nathani came to the U.S. from her native India on a student visa in early 2021 to pursue a master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of New Haven (UNH). She found herself struggling with homesickness, a language barrier, and the unfamiliar New England winter. She fell ill with COVID-19 and was finding it difficult to maintain her academics, so she left UNH after her first semester. Fortunately, Nadim, the friend in whose West Haven home she lives, provided support to her.
Neiha missed her family – her father, a businessman; mother, a Montessori teacher; and younger brother – but she wanted to continue school here. While she was earning her bachelor’s degree in India, Neiha, now 27, helped support herself as a tutor. “I taught all ages of children, including those with special needs,” she explains. She thought pursuing a degree in early childhood education would combine the love of teaching her mother modeled with Neiha’s gift for helping children learn and grow.
With the help of Nadim – with whom she now has a committed relationship – she discovered GCC’s Early Childhood Education program. “I tend to be introverted,” Neiha says, “but I feel at home at Gateway. My English has improved, and I’ve met other Asian students.”
Her GCC Foundation-supplied laptop is an upgrade from her former outdated, heavy, “hand-me-down.” She does assignments and research faster, and she takes notes on it during classes.
Neiha, who also is a part-time student worker in GCC’s Early Learning Center, looks forward to graduating next year. She believes it was “meant to be” that she came to Gateway. “I believe God has a better plan for me,” she explains. “This was my destiny.”
To watch Neiha’s scholarship thank-you message, CLICK HERE.