by Lenny Padilla
Emari Hardy walked into the Phelps Dining Hall with his football team this August, wearing his hat on backwards and a big smile on his face.
The Hope College junior is quite comfortable around campus now. But he recalls his first days as a college freshman in 2017 when that wasn’t always the case.
Instead, at that time, questions of uncertainty swirled inside his head: “How do I balance football and studying? What if I have questions about my future? Whatif I’m stressed, and I need someone to talk to? Where do I go?”
The peace of mind Hardy sought was found when he enrolled in Hope’s FOCUS program which aims to help incoming freshman transition to college through additional support and advising.
“Coming in my freshman year, the FOCUS program helped me a lot,” said Hardy, a thriving two-sport student-athlete. “It helped me stay on track from high school to college. The program helps students plan and study, and it helped me balance school and football.”
Hardy has chosen psychology as his major. He is building on an interest that started in high school.