Jennie Espinoza is a human development and family sciences graduate student from Mendota, IL
Hometown: Mendota, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
Transfer from: Illinois Valley Community College
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
Growing up I wanted to be a teacher. It was my dream job. I loved working with children, and as I went into college that was the path I was taking. As different circumstances in life guided me to go into wanting to work with families, I came to NIU and pursued a bachelor’s in human development and family science. While taking some of those courses, it guided me to going into marriage and family therapy.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I received my bachelor's in human development and family science with a minor in psychology in May 2020. Now, I am finishing my master’s in applied human development and family sciences with a specialization in marriage and family therapy and a certificate in trauma-informed counseling. I chose this course of study because I want to establish a sense of support for families in the community.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I have loved my experienced at NIU. I have felt that professors and staff care about their students and want them to succeed.
How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
I have met amazing people during my time at NIU. It has been a different experience for me since I am older than most students. But I have been able to connect and remain in contact with students.
What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
The College of Health and Human Sciences has been amazing with their students. They have guided and mentored me to accomplish this great achievement.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
One professor who guided me through this journey was Dr. Scott Sibley. He showed that he cared for his students and wanted us to learn and grow as professionals.
How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
Attending classes regularly is very beneficial to my learning, especially taking part in discussions with other students in the class.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
The Holmes Student Center is my favorite spot in campus because it feels welcoming. There are many different areas to study or relax in between classes.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
Look for a welcoming campus where you feel like you matter. Somewhere that feels like a community and has professors who care for you and your learning.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I had to learn new ways to study and manage my time. Being a student and having a family, it’s ten times more difficult to get things done, but being able to manage and readjust helped me throughout my years in college.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I like to spend time with my family.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
Know that no matter the circumstances, we all have a purpose in life. Sometimes we have to go through storms to find what that purpose is, so never give up.