CHADRON – Jessy Bale of Folsom, South Dakota, was named February’s Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month.
Bale, a social work major, said she chose Chadron State College because she was unsure what she wanted to study, and it was close but still far enough away from home.
“I like that it is a small school and small campus,” Bale said.
Her desire to help others also led her to major in social work. She said she wants to help people, especially during tough times.
“I want to make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Bale said.
Bale has a history of helping others. Throughout high school, she volunteered with the Good Samaritan Society in New Underwood, South Dakota, as a dietary aid and housekeeper.
She is also active in college.
As a member of the Social Work Club, Bale participates in community projects including visits to Prairie Pines Lodge. She said the club’s current project is finding ways to help the homeless population in Chadron.
In addition to her involvement in social work classes and the Social Work Club, Bale works with the department’s professors as a work-study.
Rich Kenney, assistant professor in Counseling Psychological Sciences and Social Work, notices Bale’s participation in his classroom.
“I consider myself fortunate to know her as she is one of those students a professor appreciates having in class,” Kenney said. “She is hard-working, conscientious, and takes her education seriously. She has a wonderful sense of humor and genuinely seems to enjoy learning.”
Bale said she enjoys activities provided by the Residence Life Association and is grateful for the professor-to-student ratio that allows students to know their faculty members on a personal level.
Her favorite class has been Services to Child/Families (SW 331). Bale said the class involved mock counseling sessions and visits to schools and prisons.
Bale joined Project Strive/TRiO as soon as she arrived at CSC. Bale said her older sister, who also attends CSC, was involved and explained the benefits and resources that the organization offered. Bale’s brother also attended CSC.
Jen Schaer, director of Project Strive/TRiO, said Bale is a great member of the organization.
“She always has a smile on her face and comes to each activity ready to learn something new and different,” said Schaer. “She has encouraged other students in the social work area to join Project Strive by sharing the benefits that Strive offers.”
Bale said her favorite Project Strive/TRiO events involve creativity, such as painting and decorating items. She also attended the recent National TRiO Day festivities on campus.
“The staff is always there when you need them, whether it’s for school or just to listen,” Bale said.
In her spare time, Bale said she enjoys going for walks, drawing, watching movies, and listening to music.
Future plans for Bale include graduating in May 2019 and entering the work force. She is still undecided about whether she wants to work with children or in a prison system.
“Jessy is a go-getter and she will be great as a social worker,” said Schaer.
—Kelsey Brummels, College Relations