Revere High 2017 graduate Lani Stevens, whom Supt. of Schools Dr. Diane Kelly describes as “an incredible student,” wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of her goal of completing her college studies in three years.
Stevens received degrees in Analytical Economics and Sustainability from the University of New Hampshire on May 16. The last semester of her college career was greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes were held online, her senior-year project was challenging under these conditions, and there was no on-campus commencement ceremony.
Stevens was able to complete her requirements in three years instead of the usual four through the Advanced Placement (AP) credits that she earned while a student at RHS and her participation in Revere High’s Dual Enrollment Program.
“I remember that Ms. Tiffany Curry really encouraged me to take those courses and it proved to be very helpful,” recalled Stevens.
Encouragement and support at RHS
The daughter of Wayne Stevens and Erin Stevens, Lani Stevens graduated in the top 10 percent of her class at RHS. She has two older brothers, Richard and Ryan. The family is winding down a cross-country road trip that included a visit to the Lost World Caverns in West Virginia.
Lani competed on the RHS cross country and track teams and served on the Student Council.
She is very grateful to the RHS faculty.
“I think part of it was the hard work that I put in, but a lot of it was the encouragement from my teachers and my guidance counselors,” said Stevens. “The overall support system at Revere high in guidance was amazing.”
She commended guidance counselor, Carolyn Gerrior, guidance leader Diana Finn, “and I had so many great teachers at Revere High: Miss Cronin, Miss Pirkey, Mr. Bonanno, Miss Emilan, and Mr. Bein.”
A role model for current Revere students
Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly said Stevens is an outstanding example for Revere students and her success will inspire others. Kelly added that she was pleased that the RHS Dual Enrollment Program allowed Lani the opportunity to accelerate the advancement toward her degree and to graduate college in three years.
“Lani is one of the incredible Revere students who push themselves to perform at high levels in all areas of life,” said Kelly. “Our Dual Enrollment Program allows students to earn high school and college credit at the same time. These college-level courses are accepted to take the place of our topic-similar high school-level classes that are required for graduation. These programs allow us to differentiate programs to meet individual student needs and allow students to move in a pace that fits their abilities.”
An internship at the Revere Journal
While a student at RHS, Lani had an internship in marketing at the Revere Journal.
Curry, the RHS Extended Learning Opportunity Coordinator who supervised her internship, said of Stevens, “I’m thrilled to hear that you’re doing a story on Lani” and her academic successes.
Curry recalled that Lani wrote at that time about what a positive, educational experience it was working at the Journal offices. “I could not have asked for a better learning experience than interning at the Revere Journal. I built everlasting relationships with the workers. I think the most essential lesson I learned through my internship was the patience and compassion you have to maintain when dealing with the public. It seems simple, but maintaining a friendly attitude and keeping a smile on your face at all times can almost get you through any situation.”
The decision to graduate early
Lani said she’s happy with her decision to graduate UNH in three years. She attained Dean’s List honors during her career and had three work-study positions.
“I’m really happy, though I think it’s nerve-wracking during this time, going into a job market that’s pretty depressing,” said Stevens candidly. “I had a fellowship lined up doing data analysis for a school district in New Hampshire this summer but unfortunately it was rescinded. Because of the coronavirus, they weren’t able to do it under virtual conditions.”
She remains optimistic about obtaining an employment opportunity soon. “I’m staying hopeful and making the most out of my time and seeing what comes along,” she said. “I’m hoping that my degrees will prove beneficial during this time, given all that’s going on. I know that communities’ resilience is being tested right now and so hopefully with my degrees, I can make that a little bit easier.”
Asked whether she considers herself a role model, Stevens, a former SAT Prep instructor for RHS students, replied, “I worked with some of my past cross country teammates [in SAT Prep] and I see them graduating this year and I’m so amazed at what they’re doing in their lives. They’re as much role models for me as I hope that I can be for them.”