CHADRON – Chadron State College student Makayla Brown of Hershey, Nebraska, is the Project Strive/TRiO September 2019 Student of the Month.
Brown is a junior majoring in social work and minoring in psychology and creative writing. She said she saw these topics overlap while completing an internship with the Veterans Affairs Black Hills Health Care System in Hot Springs, South Dakota, last summer.
“Being a social worker at a nursing home worked hand-in-hand with my psychology minor because you do cognitive testing with them to see where they are at,” Brown said.
Brown said she also had the opportunity to get trained in music therapy. This method can successfully assist residents in remembering things, especially from when they were younger, according to Brown.
With plans to apply for CSC’s professional Social Work program this semester, Brown has her eyes set on continuing her education and becoming a counselor.
“I chose social work because I really like learning about human behavior and studying it,” Brown said. “I enjoy helping people and want to focus on working with veterans and those who have dementia.”
Associate Professor of Social Work Rich Kenney Jr. said Brown brings an ever-present cheerfulness to class.
“Makayla immerses herself in group discussions and whenever I ask a rather difficult question, her hand is often the first one up,” Kenney said. “Makayla is of the mindset that there isn’t anything she can’t do. Her positive attitude will certainly carry her a long way in achieving her goals.”
Project Strive/TRiO Counselor Sonja Dressel said Brown brings great energy and enthusiasm to the program.
“Makayla is outgoing and welcoming to other students in our program,” Dressel said. “I know Makayla is passionate about working with veterans and their families and she will be a great advocate for them.”
Project Strive/TRiO is one of Brown’s many campus involvements. As a first-generation college student, Brown said the program has helped her in many ways, including offering college knowledge and financial aid.
“It helps you set goals so you can strive for the future,” Brown said.
Other campus involvement for Brown includes the Homecoming Committee, Social Work Club, and Xi Delta Zeta. She also works at the Reta E. King Library and as a fitness instructor at the Nelson Physical Activity Center.
Brown said she is thankful for the opportunity to further her education, help people, and meet those who have impacted her.
Chadron State College’s Project Strive/TRiO program, located in the lower level of the King Library, is an academic enrichment program committed to help students succeed. Project Strive also focuses on career exploration, cultural and social enrichment and self-awareness. To be eligible for the program, a student must be one of the following: A first generation student where neither parent has a four-year degree, meet low income status based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services criteria, or have a documented disability. For more information, visit https://www.csc.edu/projectstrive/.
—Kelsey R. Brummels, College Relations