Student Spotlight- Carlena Dennis
Name: Carlena Sophia Dennis
Major: Human Services
About you (Tribal Affiliation, Native, Family, Non-traditional student, Traditional student, etc.):
I am Native American Nontraditional student from Lac Courte Oreilles. I received an Associate of Arts degree in Human Services from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College in 2020 and am currently enrolled in the bachelor’s degree program.
Why did you decide to pursue a college degree with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College?
I knew that I wanted to give back to the community and to do so I needed the opportunity that an education offers. The benefits of getting educated have helped me both intellectually and socially.
How is Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College different from other college options?
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College has been beneficial in the way that I am able to have a better relationship with my advisor and teachers. The staff are very helpful and want to see you succeed. There have been many times when the staff has been the key factor in giving me the support that I needed to get moving when I needed an extra push.
What has been your favorite class so far?
My whole educational journey has been really fun so far. I always find that the classes that seem to be the most challenging, end up being the ones that I learn the most from and take away the information from. So far, I have really enjoyed the psychology classes, general and abnormal.
What student organizations are you a part of? Why?
When I started my associate degree, I participated in the work-based learning program. It was an awesome experience that helped me develop technical and employability skills while working in the field that I was studying.
What advice would you give someone who is undecided on starting college?
Stop procrastinating and go for it! If someone hadn’t pushed me to enroll, I might still be overthinking too.
What will you do after you complete your degree with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College?
Educationally, my plan is to complete my bachelor's degree in the Spring of 2023 at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College. I choose to continue my educational journey because it has opened so many doors for me. I am also working on the completion of the AODA certification to become better qualified within my field. My place of employment has been extremely helpful by allowing me to work toward achieving my educational goals. This is helping me to be able to provide effective, efficient, quality care to the community I serve.
What does it mean to you to attend college in our local community?
Attending college locally means having the opportunity to be able to work full time to provide for my family. While being able to participate in community events while still attending college to enrich my family's lives.
What does it mean to you to attend a Tribal College?
Within the community, I share the importance of education and promote it. Anytime I can, I share with others about this wonderful resource, right in the middle of our reservation, the Lac Courte Oreilles Community Ojibwe College. My hope is that it will help to empower people and inspire them to return to college. We have so many people and resources that are here to help us succeed.
I want to say Miigwech to Mary, Lisa, Laura, Wes, Jim, Gary, Edie, Marc, and Danielle for supporting me when I needed it the most!