Personal Story

Feature Issue on Inclusive Higher Education for People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities

Campus Conversations


Nykenge Blue transferred last fall to the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) after taking classes at Bunker Hill Community College.

Ashley Luce is the program coordinator for the UMB-MAICEI partnership.

A female college student stands in front of a UMass Boston sign. She’s wearing glasses, a striped shirt, and jeans. Smiling, she tilts her head and clasps her hands together at her waist.

Student Nykenge Blue is working while learning in college. Photo courtesy of Quinn Barbour/Institute for Community Inclusion.

Nykenge (Nikki): Transferring from community college to university hasn’t been easy. It has taken a little longer to get to know people, but I’m proud of myself for getting around campus after just onesemester. I used public transportation to get to BHCC, but now that I’m at UMB, it is a longer route and I have to transfer trains and use the campus shuttle.

Ashley: What have you studied in college?

At BHCC I took a lot of different classes. I liked culinary arts the most, and it made me want to work in food service. I also took a women’s rights course that taught me a lot, but there was a lot of homework for that. Here at UMB, I’ve taken food history and a communications course. In food history, we learned what foods people have been eating and why. It was a hard class because there was a lot of reading and there were papers to write and tests. We kept food journals, and that was really interesting, and I’m now doing an internship at a food court.

What kind of support has been most useful to you?

I have a very supportive tutor and educational coach at UMB, Fatima. Having Fatima helped me get through the readings and homework, which was really important. Doing well in classes is important to me.