Jenna Hampton became the odd one out in her family when she decided to come to Baylor. Her family and all of her extended family hail from Oklahoma, but being the youngest, and the only girl, Jenna was ready to spread her wings.
Jenna came into Baylor as an undecided major, but chose Baylor because she knew she wanted to attend a school built on service and Christianity. “I simply enjoyed the atmosphere [here],” Jenna recalled.
The BIC program at Baylor, which is the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, provided an alternative way for Jenna to explore her passions. Jenna, along with most other freshmen, had a hard time finding her place at first.
“You really have to find what you’re passionate about, and people who are passionate about the same things.” That’s exactly what Jenna did when, after a few meetings with Baylor’s career services, she found her calling to social work.
Since discovering that calling, Jenna has realized her interest in the macro aspect of social work. Dr. Holly Oxhandler, Garland School of Social Work’s associate dean of research, opened up that door for her and was especially helpful in aiding Jenna through her journey. Within the macro aspect, Jenna’s focus has been at the intersection of social and economic issues.
Aside from the School of Social Work, Jenna was a member of Baylor CHI’s, a service sorority, for six semesters. She worked her way up to service vice president her junior year. While holding that position, Jenna had the opportunity to become well acquainted with local nonprofits. She also gained hands-on experience through volunteering with her CHI sisters every Saturday.
Since discovering that calling, Jenna has realized her interest in the macro aspect of social work ... within the macro aspect, Jenna’s focus has been at the intersection of social and economic issues.
After receiving news she had won the BSW Outstanding Student award, Jenna felt encouraged. “It was nice to have affirmation; I genuinely enjoy learning and growing.” Jenna hopes to be an example to her peers, showing that education and passion can become one.
Washington University is the next stop for Jenna, where she will receive her Master of Social Work degree. A number of professors there specialize in housing policy, which is what Jenna would ultimately like to be an advocate for. Jenna is ever grateful to the Baylor professors for supporting her through this time in her life.
Down the road, Jenna sees herself working in a city with a community development agency, and is open to wherever that may be. “Don’t give up on yourself, keep trying to do what you want to do," she added.