Strength in Numbers
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Jenny Lee's new Bethel family made the transition to college life so much easier.
BEGIN . BELONG . BECOME
It took junior Jenny Lee some time to settle into college life. A first-generation Hmong-American, she found her niche in communications with a Relational Communication major.
But the transition from high school to college—making new friends, navigating the campus, adjusting to the schedule—was a little overwhelming. Fortunately, she got a lot of help from the folks at home—her roommates in the dorm, that is.
"After my rough patch first semester, it wasn't hard to find community," Jenny says. "My freshman floor was my community. My peers helped me fit in by giving me space to adjust to the college life, but always including me in events and activities."
Her resident assistant or RA, Steph Porter, was instrumental in creating a family-like environment in the dorm.
"Steph has that motherly personality—in a good way," Jenny explains. "She always had this great connection with people in general; she put in the time and effort to get to know the girls not only on our floor, but throughout the Nelson dormitory. I really saw her live out the Christian values we are called to through her actions, words, and love for her job and the floor."
Jenny says the connections Steph helped her make live on as she is now an RA at Nelson, on the same floor where she found her family.
Because of the support she received, Jenny has made it a priority to help other incoming students make a successful transition to life at Bethel. She is a member of the Navigators Program, an orientation for students of color, international students, and students with disabilities during Welcome Week. She is also one of the two Asian Christian Fellowship Directors for United Cultures of Bethel as well as a tutor to Somali immigrants.
"Being an RA has been amazing. I love the freshman culture and it has helped me experience what I missed out on during my freshman year," she says. "I’ve learned that being an RA is simply being a friend and getting to know all of my residents and I am so thankful for them.”