CHADRON – Chadron State College student Ali Musa of San Diego, California, is the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for April.
Musa, a Sports and Recreational Management major, said he chose Chadron State College because of opportunities in football and to continue his education.
Before moving to Chadron, Musa said he could never picture himself living in a rural area, but he loves the small community because it has provided him with the support to focus on school.
“I struggled here a lot freshman year and I even left football,” Musa said. “I tried to go to community college, but I didn’t like it. Then I came back to Chadron two months before my freshman year was over and was grateful they let me come back. I have loved it here ever since. My grades got better, I had a new perspective on people, and I learned to have a great time.”
His favorite class was Nutrition with Megan Northrup.
“I’m a big nutrition person,” Musa said. “I like to know what I’m putting into my body because I know eating right will help me perform at my highest level. The class just really had me locked in and wanting to know more.”
Musa said he loves playing football and takes it seriously.
“I started playing in the seventh grade, and it was kind of weird because I came from a soccer family, but I saw my older brother play football and he was really good at it so that became my influence. Then I would find myself making plays at recess and it was really fun,” Musa said.
During Musa’s senior year of high school, a coach tweeted about him being the No. 1 defensive back prospect. When it went viral, he began to feel like his hard work was paying off.
After graduation, Musa plans to stay at CSC for graduate school with hopes to one day start his own business.
“I really want to open different gym facilities in the top six states for business prospects. I used to watch House of Athlete with Brandon Marshall and he really inspired me because he opened his own gym,” Musa said. “I have always been in the sports industry and I don’t think I could go into anything else without feeling like I was doing it just for the money. With sports, I’m in it all for the love.”
TRiO Director Jennifer Schaer said Musa has a positive attitude and an impactful personality.
“Ali has a passion for life and loves to be around people,” Schaer said. “He is great at bringing someone up when they are down and he talks to everyone. It has been great to watch Ali grow and learn the past four years at CSC and as a Strive student. I look forward to watching Ali continue to grow as a leader and have enjoyed working with him.”
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 www.csc.edu/projectstrive.