Mary Hamer

Meet Mary Hamer: Class of 2023


Mary Hamer’s father, a part-time singer, was doing a gig at Disneyland when his daughter crashed his performance. Mary, only 5 years old at the time, ran on stage and performed her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” earning herself a standing ovation from the crowd.


With that innate passion for music, Mary went on to become a professional musician, teaching during the day and making her own music at night. Mental health issues forced Mary to take a 10-year hiatus from music and working in general. During that time, Mary focused on her health, pulling support from family, friends, mental health professionals, and most importantly, herself.


“I have issues. But that doesn’t mean that I am broken,” said Mary.


At 40 Mary felt she could make strides toward her future and she enrolled at Cuyamaca College. Mary planned on studying Social Work, but after some soul searching realized that she wanted to impact the world in the manner in which her therapists had supported her. This realization re-directed her to the Psychology program.


As ready as anyone could have been, Mary jumped in with both feet and engaged wholly in the program and campus. During her time at Cuyamaca College, Mary served as president of the Psychology club, president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and chair of the Associated Student Government Election Committee. She has dedicated her time and effort to helping Cuyamaca College become welcoming and equitable.


“I felt like I wanted to do more at Cuyamaca than just go to my classes and go home,” said Mary. “Partly because I love it here. And partly because that is who I am…I do all the things.”


After graduating in June, Mary is transferring to CSU San Marcos where she will be a Social Sciences-Psychology major. After earning her degree, Mary is planning to continue to graduate school. She also has been contemplating the idea of returning to Cuyamaca College to teach.