CHADRON – Gabriela Perez of Sioux City, Iowa, has been named the Project Strive/TRIO Student of the Month for November.
Perez, a nutrition and health major, discovered Chadron State College while joining a friend on a campus visit. Even though it was smaller than the other schools she visited, there was something that stuck with her.
“I felt very welcome. It was a lot different than my other college visits, because Chadron was smaller. But, the people here are what really attracted me, “ Perez said.
Perez’s two favorite classes at CSC have been Foundations of PE (HPER 122) taught by Dr. Dawn Brammer, HPER associate professor, and Food and Meals Across a Lifetime (FCS 236) with Erin Norman, applied sciences instructor.
Jennifer Schaer, director of TRIO, has worked with Perez since her inclusion into the program. According to Schaer, Perez is an excellent example for other students in the program.
“I think Gabby’s greatest quality is that she really cares for people. She will go out of her way to help out a fellow cheerleader or student. She is always smiling and positive and has been a great role model to others in Project Strive,” Schaer said.
Perez’s favorite activity at Project Strive/TRIO are the modge podge activities. The activity uses modge podge, a type of permanent white glue, and other objects to form creative artwork, which sometimes include inspirational or positive quotes attached to them.
No matter the day, Perez knows she can expect a positive environment in the Strive/TRiO center.
“Everyone’s so positive and your friends are there. I love going in and being able to talk to anyone and everyone. It makes my day,” Perez said.
After graduating high school from Elk Point Jefferson in Elk Point, South Dakota, a neighboring community to Sioux City, Perez was interested in medical studies. Upon completing a few biology classes and shadowing surgeries, Perez found her niche.
“Well, I’m not the best with blood and it makes me pass out, but I wanted to do something in the medical field. Massage therapy interested me, because it is less invasive, but you still get to help people,” Perez said.
Outside of class, Perez is a cheerleader, works at the CSC visitor desk and helps teach youth gymnastics at the Chadron Arts Center. This semester she also helped start the Love Your Melon Club which sells hats and beanies, with part of the proceeds going to pediatric brain cancer research.
—Conor P. Casey, Graduate Assistant