Transformative Education: Altering Reality


Trinaty Hobson is from a small town in Jennings County, Indiana. Though going to college was “not encouraged or pressed” by her parents, who did not finish high school, Hobson always knew she wanted to go. Choosing to attend IUPUI with its dynamic urban campus that differed greatly from her quiet hometown was not originally a part of Hobson’s plan.

“I wanted to go to school for art education, and a teacher at my high school really encouraged the program at IUPUI. I applied and was accepted,” Hobson explains. Her educational journey took another promising turn when she received an email about Nina Scholars, a program she has been a part of for three years.

It was a different reality.

“It was a different reality,” Hobson says about joining the program, “to have such support behind me was very different but amazing at the same time.” As someone who loves learning and describes her younger self as a “teacher’s pet type of kid,” Hobson has enjoyed the educational aspect of being a Nina Scholar.

“We’ve studied who we are and what path is correct for each of us. It helped me to learn that people are dynamic and that there’s no one direct path for us. That’s what led me to realize what I wanted to do,” Hobson says, speaking of her decision to change her major to health sciences rather than art education. She explains, “a lot of us either have a preset notion of what we’re supposed to do or we have no idea where to go when we get to college. [The Nina Scholars curriculum] lays out a journey for us to figure out what is best for each of us and how to utilize the strengths we have."

Through the methods of self-discovery taught by Charlie Johnson, the director of Nina Scholars, Hobson has made the decision to pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy. After graduation, she would like to be a pediatric occupational therapist. Hobson’s ultimate goal is to give back to her hometown, which often is forced to outsource its medical assistance, and to open her own rehabilitation center.

Hobson knows the skills she has obtained as a scholar will help her achieve that goal. She says, “It’s already helped me a lot, particularly how to communicate with people and be open. That’s helped my relationship with my family and my boyfriend already, and I know it will help with my future patients.”