Newcity siblings discover separate paths


Photo courtesy of Aidan Newcity

Colin Newcity poses with his two sisters, Aidan Newcity (left) and Allison Newcity, after his high school graduation in 2009.

Cumulatively, all three Newcity siblings attended Harrisonburg High School for 12 years. Now six years after the youngest graduated, the three have gone through their own journeys, though have ventured back to Harrisonburg and are creating lives of their own. The middle of the three, Colin Newcity, graduated in 2009 and has since been to Australia and back.

“After graduating [from JMU] I decided to travel a bit and pursue passions, so I left for Sydney, Australia to become a certified PADI scuba diving instructor. After about a month I was certified and began teaching and leading dives there in Sydney,” Colin Newcity said.

It was after graduating from JMU with degrees in Kinesiology and Education that Colin Newcity changed his original career path of becoming a Physical Education teacher.

“After graduating and getting more experience in the field I realized it may not have been completely what I had made it out to be, so from there and after pursuing scuba diving, I began working in the field of parks and recreation which I found to be a much better fit,” Colin Newcity said.

Now eight years after his college graduation, Colin Newcity is working at the White Oak Lavender Farm and Purple WOLF Vineyard.

“I have been there since October,” Colin Newcity said. “I have responsibilities in all areas of the farm: farm work, tasting room [and] gift shop. After some time I will be responsible for managing all of the outdoor staff, general operations, as well as some educational events.”

Like her older brother, Aidan Newcity changed her career path after coming out of college, and is now a Registered Nurse in the orthopedic and observation unit at nearby Rockingham Memorial Hospital.

“I actually didn’t chose nursing until after graduating from JMU. I should have been more honest with myself about the future and switched before spending four years getting another bachelors,” Aidan Newcity said. “But, everything happens for a reason and I am glad I got the nursing education at EMU!”
Looking back on her high school and college years, the advice Aidan Newcity has for herself and for current high school students comes from the experience she went through with changing careers.

“I would want myself to think through what I wanted to pursue more intently, and don’t be afraid to change your mind or direction,” Aidan Newcity said. “HHS offers so many wonderful things, whether it be sports, theater, art, science or many more. You have to experience some of it all. It will really help shape the future if you find activities or interests that you are passionate about.”

The oldest of the three siblings, HHS 2007 graduate Allison Newcity has always known what kind of field she wanted to go into: massage therapy.

“I have had an interest in it since about the eighth grade. I have family members that would go see a massage therapist for chronic pains. I was amazed that after about an hour I would see them again and they would have less pain and feel more energetic,” Allison Newcity said.

On top of starting her own LLC called Revive Therapeutic Massage Center in Harrisonburg, Allison is also a fitness assistant at the Wellness Center at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. Here, she develops exercise prescriptions for their elderly members of various conditions.

“The small victories make me smile… I love hearing that the exercise and guidance we give to our members helps them become healthier and happier,” Allison Newcity said.

Though she is successful now, there are still things that Allison Newcity wishes she would’ve have done back in high school.

“If I could go back I would tell younger me not to be so afraid of trying new things. I would tell myself that is okay to not be the best and that is the experience that is most meaningful,” Allison Newcity said.

For Colin Newcity, it wasn’t trying new things that he wishes he would have changed, but the amount of effort he put into what he did.

“I was very fortunate that I ended up going to the school I wanted and got the opportunity to fulfill a dream of playing college athletics. But, I would say I should have applied myself more in school and in classes,” Colin Newcity said. “I was doing what I had to to get by. It would have better prepared me for college and my future, I do think high school is the age where you really start to build habits that will stay with you.”
Because of his college experience, Colin Newcity urges high school students to step out of their comfort zone and mindset.

“It is very easy to have an idea of what life will look like, but at that age try as many things as possible and experience as much as you can,” Colin Newcity said. “You will find new interests and passions that will challenge that mindset you have. Which is a good thing.”