Marissa and Dalton Courtemarche both stand on the cusp of careers in work they hold close to their hearts. Marissa is in her third year of veterinary school at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. Her brother Dalton is a senior at Plymouth State University, majoring in environmental studies.
Both trace their passion – and their closeness – to their home on Pinnacle Mountain in Lyndeborough. “We had to self-entertain, up on the mountain,” Dalton said. There, Marissa saved baby birds and groomed her horse, Magic. Dalton roamed the woods, catching frogs or pretending with his sister to be wolves in the snow.
Both attribute their determination to their mother, Robyn, a teacher who, following her divorce, held two other jobs to ensure that she could provide the stability and support she wanted for her three children. (Dalton and Marissa’s older sister, Mariah, is a nurse.)
Charitable Foundation scholarships are helping both to complete their degrees and launch their dream careers. Marissa hopes to open a veterinary clinic dedicated to fear-free practice and fostering healthy, loving bonds between pets and their owners. Dalton intends to pursue work that will spread an appreciation of the planet’s essential biodiversity and help to preserve it. The two fields intersect, Marissa said, in the emerging concept of “One Health,” which recognizes the inter-connectedness of human, animal and environmental well-being. “We’re just super-close,” Marissa said of her brother, “and I love how are careers are becoming aligned.”