Photo Courtesy of Nick Adams and Laura Bonanni

A "hi" is all it takes for a love story to unfold. At least, this is true for Nick and Laura, a #TempleMade couple through and through.

Nick Adams, EDU '16 and '21, and Laura Bonanni, EDU '17, knew each other when they were undergraduate students in the College of Education and Human Development. The two met while participating in the Jumpstart program, a national early childhood organization that trains students to work with preschool children in under-resourced neighborhoods to promote high-quality early learning for all.

"We weren't in the same major and didn't see each other much except for when there were big events. I was in adult and organizational development, while she was in early childhood education," Nick said. "Just Laura being an upbeat, energetic, and positive person, it's hard not to notice."

In the fall of 2016, Nick's last semester before graduation, he recalled being in the Kiva Auditorium, where the Dean's suite is now, for a Jumpstart meeting. One moment on that Friday evening helped set the beginning of Nick and Laura's story.

"I was sitting by the door, as I had to leave the event early for a night class. Laura left to go to the bathroom, and she said, 'Hi, Nick!'" he recalled. "My face turned red, and even my friend had to turn to me, asking if I was okay. That was when I said to myself, 'you've had a crush on her for so long, do something about it.' Her 'hi' was what kickstarted everything."  

"I had a feeling that he liked me a little bit, so I gave him a little push," Laura said. "And it worked."

Nick and Laura's love for each other is built on a bedrock of admiration. "Nick is extremely focused. He can put anything in his mind and just go for it," Laura shared. She also added Nick's respectful and genuine demeanor and kind-heartedness were what first caught her attention.

When it was Nick's turn to share what he loved most about Laura, his answer was "unlimited."

"Her charm, energy, and positive personality make the bad times good and the good times the best," Nick shared. "She's also very compassionate and caring. She doesn't have a selfish bone and is incredibly good at trying to balance and support the needs of other people."

In their spare time, the couple enjoys sharing their hobbies over reading, hiking, cooking, and playing with their cat, Parker, as well as spending time with loved ones. From watching The Sopranos and working their way through the Marvel movies in chronological order, to exploring different breweries and restaurants in the city.

The couple also shares that they support each other in numerous ways. Though Nick and Laura work in different professions and locations, their conversations often revolve around education. They provide ideas and help one another with problem-solving. Currently, Nick works as a graduate academic advisor and adjunct professor right here at Temple's CEHD, while Laura works at George W. Nebinger School as a kindergarten teacher. Laura also credited the invaluable experience she got through Jumpstart and her student teaching in her career.

"I talk about my five-year-old kindergarteners, and he talks about his 21-year-old college students. Sometimes, there are similarities. Sometimes, there aren't," Laura shared. "Our work sometimes overlaps our personal home life. We're definitely each other's soundboard."

January 6, 2024, marked a new life chapter for the lovebirds. It was a full circle moment when Nick proposed to Laura in front of Ritter Annex.

"I went through a few different ideas for our engagement based on things that we like to do together, places that we've been and such," Nick said. "But it just all came back to that moment where she said "hi."

The day of the proposal was also Philadelphia's first snow day of the year. So, how did Nick get Laura out of the house? "Lies, lies, lies," she said.

Nick had previously told Laura he was attending a work brunch that did not include significant others when he went to pick up the engagement ring. "I used that as a cover story, and then flipped it later, saying that we were also having a surprise farewell event for our colleague, Lauren. And people were bringing their significant others," he shared.

"I thought it was a vigil for somebody who passed away as we got close to the Ritter quad and I saw the picture frames and floral arrangement," Laura laughed. "I was thinking of not walking through that, but he dragged me toward it."

She added, "It all clicked when I saw the photos of us. I made an auditory gasp, letting Nick take control."

Nick and Laura were both overjoyed about their engagement. "I felt all the feelings - , nervous, shocked, and excited," said Laura. "All the good scary feelings."

Nick and Laura called their family and friends to announce the great news and celebrated their engagement that evening with everyone, Nick and Laura's way — at a brewery.

"I showed my kindergarteners the ring and told them I got engaged," Laura excitedly shared. "Their immediate reaction was 'what? Are you going to have a baby? Do you have a baby in your belly?'" she shared laughingly. 

Reflecting on their journey, the couple can't stress enough the importance of being patient and understanding toward each other. 

"Building a connection takes time, and it's crucial to communicate openly," said Laura. "We must remember to stay true to ourselves and present for each other. Finding common interests, exploring new activities, and accepting each other's differences contribute to a strong and supportive relationship."

Nick and Laura are planning a summer 2026 wedding and considering moving to South Philly, saving for a house, and potentially starting a family.

"Our approach is to take things one step at a time and enjoy the journey," Laura shared.