Small Town, Big Goals

Small Town, Big Goals

Looking every bit like a typical MSU student, Janis walks into the SUB with a back pack full of books and binders. It is quickly apparent that Janis is not your “typical” college student. She is confident and professional- poised beyond her years.

Janis is from Lennep, a small town between Martinsdale and White Sulphur Springs, often described as very small with a single row of mail boxes. Janis attended the Lennep School, covering grades Kindergarten through 8th grade, and then opted for homeschooling. As you can imagine, finding a job in such a rural area is not easy.  She learned of the HRDC’s Youth Program and introduced to Chris, a Youth Advisor. “I was very impressed with Janis. She is bright, self motivated and ready and willing to get to work,” said Chris.  Chris enrolled Janis in HRDC’s Youth Program and was able to help her gain employment on a nearby farm where she helped run a small business that created unique and colorful yarns. She quickly learned the ins and outs of the yarn business and became quite skilled at untangling yarn and twisting it properly on the spools.  The job was a great experience but an even better source of income.  Janis saved some of her earnings for the future but mainly her wages would be used to help support her family.

Janis still managed to balance work with studying even while working full-time and quickly completed her GED, scoring well above average in all subject areas. College was definitely something she wanted to pursue but she faced the challenge of how to afford tuition, housing, and living expenses. After researching scholarship opportunities, she applied for and was awarded a Charles M. Bair Memorial Scholarship that would pay for 100% of her tuition and expenses for eight semesters.

Janis is currently in her freshman year at MSU studying bio-resources through the Civil Engineering Department. She also worked as a lab assistant for a Biology teacher for income to help her family. Janis’ ultimate goal is to work on the development of bio-based liquid fuel. She feels strongly about protecting our environment and precious resources.

Janis has impressed many with her educational goals and strong desire to continue to support her family.  She is in the follow up portion of our program and we are all excited for her future.