SUU Alumna Jeanne Nelson Receives TRIO Award

Published: October 27, 2015 | Author: Lynne Brown | Read Time: 2 minutes

Seven SUU-TRIO staff members recently attended the six state regional ASPIRE Conference in Rapid City SD. A highlight of the conference was the TRIO Achievers Luncheon on Monday October 5th. This banquet honors previous TRIO participants who have been nominated by a current TRIO staff member.  The person nominated must have enrolled in and successfully completed a postsecondary program of study resulting in a bachelor’s or terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education; be a person of high stature within his/her profession or have received recognition for outstanding academic achievement; and have made significant civic, community, or professional contributions.  One of this year’s honorees was Jeanne Nelson, a 1999 Sociology graduate of Southern Utah University.

Jeanne Nelson is an exceptional example of the success of Student Support Services-TRIO program and the dedication of staff members who teach, uplift and encourage students in this program.  Jeanne was presented with a plaque and was given the opportunity to share her story with conference attendees.  Jeanne is currently an MSW with the Minnesota Department of Human Services and serves as a Director and Tribal Liaison for support programs with Native elders and youth.  As an enrolled member of the White Earth Chippewa tribe, she is dedicated to improving the life situations for Minnesota tribal members. This has not been an easy path to success for this extraordinary woman. She started college at SUU as a single mother of three children and worked a full-time job to pay for school and living expenses. She overcame many challenges and barriers with the help of key mentors and friends in the SSS program. Her dedication, commitment and perseverance contributed not only to her success but that of her children who themselves have completed postsecondary education too. She is a role model who continues to lead and promote the success of others.

It was truly a conference highlight to honor and recognize Jeanne Nelson for her remarkable achievements in life and to be joined in this ceremony by her daughter Brittani and grandson Hinckley!  Her daughter, also an SUU graduate, is closely following in her mother’s footsteps as a future professional in tribal affairs! Kudos to the power of role modeling and perseverance!

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