CHADRON – Jamie Brinamen of McCook, Nebraska, is the December Chadron State College Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month.
Brinamen, a Social Work major, has been an active member of Project Strive/TRiO since her first semester. She said she learned about the program from Jen Schaer, director of Project Strive/TRiO, who taught one of her classes.
Brinamen said she joined Project Strive/TRiO because it provides students a place to do homework and receive counseling services.
“You have so many extra opportunities that other students who aren’t in Project Strive don’t get,” Brinamen said.
She encourages other qualified students to join Project Strive/TRiO.
“I wish I had joined sooner. It’s just so worth it. You basically have a family with Project Strive/TRiO,” Brinamen said.
Brinamen said she enjoys the program’s educational and fun activities and events. She said her favorite event is when students get Project Strive/TRiO swag – T-shirt, planner, water bottle, etc. – at the beginning of the year.
The sense of community she feels with Project Strive/TRiO is also true of the college.
“There are so many people and connections that you meet here that you are going to know for so long,” Brinamen said.
Schaer is one of Brinamen’s key connections.
“Jamie has been in Project Strive for four years and is an outstanding student. She pushes herself to excel in the classroom and also at her job,” Schaer said. “Jamie will be great working with children as a social worker and anyone else she comes in contact with.”
Brinamen said several professors have had a positive impact on her experience including Bruce Hoem, Social Work professor.
Hoem said he is grateful for the opportunity to have Brinamen in his classes.
“Project Strive, please give me 100 more students like Jamie Brinamen. She is a leader in our Social Work program, and I can't think of a student who works harder and accomplishes more – so, send some more Jamie Brinamens our way, please,” Hoem said.
Beyond the classroom, Brinamen has been involved in student clubs, including Social Work Club, where she has served as vice president and president, Student Alumni Council, where she served two terms as treasurer, and Natural Sciences Club.
When she is not occupied by school, activities, her full-time job or planning her upcoming wedding, Brinamen enjoys photography. The hobby has led Brinamen to take a friend's engagement photos, and she said she hopes to continue pursuing the passion and maybe even sell stock photos.
Short term career goals for Brinamen include finding a job in her hometown, working for two years and then returning to school to get her master’s in Social Work.
—Kelsey R. Brummels, College Relations