Between shifts: Easthampton senior dreams of law career while working two jobs

  • Abi McMahon, a senior at Easthampton High School, Monday, May 11, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Abi McMahon, a senior at Easthampton High School, Monday, May 11, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 5/20/2020 2:53:00 PM

Editor’s note: Over the past four years, the Class of 2020 has made their voices heard, advocating for women’s rights, against gun violence and for action on climate change. They’ve also shone in the classroom, on stages and on playing fields. And then, just as senioritis was supposed to set in, along with a season of celebration, the global pandemic struck. For the next few days, the Gazette is spotlighting students in the Class of 2020 — congratulations to all the graduates and their families.

EASTHAMPTON — Abi McMahon’s biggest fear is that life will never go back to the way it was.

A senior at Easthampton High School, McMahon, 18, is planning to study criminal justice at Western New England University as part of the school’s 3+3 Law Program, with the goal of becoming a lawyer.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, McMahon said that “there was any opportunity available to me.”

Since then, she has taken on a second job, working at both Target and McDonald’s, after her hours at McDonald’s were cut. And things feel different.

“You can’t please anyone,” she said. “I have had people yell at me for not wearing a mask before it was required — and for wearing a mask after it was required.”

The pandemic also affected McMahon’s education, as she said she doesn’t learn as well remotely.

“It’s very different from in school,” she said. “I learn much better in a classroom environment.”

Now that McMahon is working two jobs, she’s no longer able to attend her AP Literature class, which she had looked forward to taking for a long time as it is taught by one of her favorite teachers, Michael DeMento.

But she’s finding other opportunities. McMahon volunteered to help out in the May 19 special election. She said that a lot of the people who normally volunteer are senior citizens, who are at a greater risk from COVID-19, and that a number of them decided not to volunteer for the election this year because of that risk.

“This is one of the ways that I can help out my city,” she said.

McMahon said that taking the We the People class last year got her involved and engaged in politics. Students who take the class also participate in the We the People competition, a national civics competition that EHS won this year.

“We the People is actually one of the big reasons why I want to be a lawyer,” she said.

Bera Dunau can be reached at


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