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Project Strive/TRiO honors sisters as February Students of the Month

March 18, 2016

Kelsey and Leyna Brummels  (Photo by Daniel Binkard/Chadron State College) Kelsey and Leyna Brummels (Photo by Daniel Binkard/Chadron State College)

CHADRON – Chadron State College students Kelsey and Leyna Brummels describe their close relationship as an “us-ship.” They complete each other’s sentences with ease and share characteristics of a deep and lasting friendship.

The sisters from Ewing, Nebraska, also have something new to share – both have been named the February Students of the Month by Project Strive/TRiO.

Jen Schaer, project director, said her staff felt the sisters deserved to share the honor for a number of reasons.

“Kelsey is a strong student and was a work-study for us in 2014-15. She produced the end-of-the-year video which took a lot of time and is not afraid to step up and do any task asked of her,” Schaer said. “Leyna is an excellent student and her personality makes you want to sit and talk to her for hours and hours. She helps out any Strive member and is willing to step up to the plate when asked.” 

The Brummels were involved in National TRiO Day promotions and have attended speakers like Devin Hughes, co-sponsored on campus by Project Strive/TRiO. Kelsey also serves as a mentor for other Project Strive/TRiO students.

The sisters said they appreciate the welcoming atmosphere of the Project Strive/TRiO center in the lower level of the Library Learning Commons in the Reta King Library.

“They are there for you. They want the best for you. You just want to give them a hug,” Kelsey said.

Her sister agreed.

“Jen is amazing. I might ask her what seems like a stupid question and she always helps,” Leyna said. “She’s a great person to talk to about any problem I might have, and she always knows the right thing to say.” 

Leyna, an accounting major, enrolled at CSC in 2013, and Kelsey came a year later to study marketing. They had visited the area on vacations with their parents and found they liked it, which factored into their decisions to attend.

Both have plans to volunteer with The Big Event, an annual day of CSC service in the community, and are active in Phi Beta Lambda (PBL). Leyna serves as PBL’s secretary and Kelsey is the Campus Activities Board (CAB) representative and social media contact. They each helped with PBL Week in February by posting photos of daily promotions to increase awareness about and membership in the club.

Kelsey said she appreciates the leadership development and networking opportunities provided through PBL.

Leyna said she likes the structured, fast-paced nature of the eight-week business classes.

“The hard deadlines are preparing us for careers in business,” she said. “Plus midterm time is like finals week for us so we can relax and celebrate over the break.”

The first-generation students feel like they learned a strong work ethic from their father who is a dairy owner and operator and their mother who is a para-educator.

“Our parents always both exemplified and encouraged us to work hard at anything and everything we do and to always show respect to everyone,” Kelsey said.

In addition to their own studies, two times in February the Brummels, with other PBL members, assisted Chadron High School students who were preparing for a state competition in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), the high school counterpart to PBL. They proofread papers written by the students and reviewed pre-tests.

“For five teenage boys, they had great manners, were very polite and a joy to work with,” Leyna said.

Future educational plans for the women include sitting for the certified public accountant exam for Leyna and pursuing a master’s of business administration for Kelsey. Leyna may pursue a career at an accounting firm in the Norfolk, Nebraska, area, while Kelsey hopes to enter the college recruiting field or join a public relations staff for a sports team.

—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator

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