Adam Reilly ‘11 has had an eventful four years since leaving IACS, full of exciting new self–discoveries.
Reilly began his post–IACS life at UMass Boston with a major in Environmental Science. During his two years there, he tinkered with Engineering, and then switched to English and applied to their education program. He was on track to become a high school teacher.
His experiences student teaching through an inner–city program called “Do the Write Thing” in Dorchester and with IACS English teacher Ryan Deery solidified Reilly’s desire to teach. However, he said, “I felt out of place in the classroom because I didn’t feel I had enough to offer my students. I didn’t have any life experience. I knew I wanted to teach eventually, but it was then I decided I wanted to have a different career first.”
Another significant moment for Reilly during his time at UMass Boston was his coming out his freshman year. At the time of his decision to delay teaching, he met Brandon, the man who would go on to become his husband in 2013. Brandon was stationed as a sailor in Groton, CT, and knowing that Brandon would be relocated soon, Reilly took a year off from school and moved to Groton. He took a seven credit course to get his EMT–B license to support his student loans and, he said, “absolutely fell in love with the subject matter.”
“Medicine had always been an interest of mine, but never one that I wholeheartedly pursued or thought to pursue until I took that course,” he said.
Reilly received his national certification as an EMT–B, and Brandon was relocated and they moved to Virginia Beach. “I made sure to apply to every job posting and university available that would be in our area, and I was accepted to Old Dominion University [ODU] and was hired with American Medical Response as an EMT–B,” Reilly said.
Brandon was deployed for the next seven months on the George H.W. Bush carrier, during which the war against ISIS started. His ship was the first to respond against ISIS.
To keep his mind off of Brandon’s deployment, Reilly kept himself busy, working full–time while also pursuing English at ODU and beginning a pre–medical track. He finished his first semester at ODU with a 3.8 cumlative GPA and was inducted into the Tau Sigma National Honors Society.
Brandon is now home and Adam continues a rigorous path at ODU. In addition to still working as an EMT (although he will drop to part–time to take advantage of undergraduate research opportunities at ODU), he was recently accepted into the Honors College. He plans to graduate in the spring of 2017 with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in English, after which he will attend medical school. Currently, he is studying for his MCAT. Ultimately, he hopes to join the Navy as a physician.
“As it stands right now, I’m on track!” he said.
Some of the best advice Reilly said he has received in his college career was from a college professors, who said undergraduate school is a place for students to focus on becoming better students and exploring their interests so they’re prepared for graduate school.
“Hearing this was a great comfort to me because it gave me a lot more freedom. It allowed me to pursue my interests, and eventually led me to find myself and the person who I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.”