Success Stories

Social work major keeps promise

Jennifer Barabas, shown with her family, earned an ATHENA Scholarship.

Jennifer Barabas and her husband have four children. Seven years ago, they adopted three other children who had been severely abused and neglected. It was part of Barabas’ promise to herself years ago, when she grew up in an abusive household, to “help people who cannot help themselves.”

Barabas is a social work major who takes courses at Grand Valley’s Meijer Holland Campus. She recently earned a Lakeshore ATHENA Scholarship, which is presented to nontraditional students who serve their communities.

Barabas works as a weekend supervisor at an area women’s shelter. She is also serving an internship position at Ottawa county Community Mental Health. An active community member, Barabas is a church youth group leader and president of Grand Valley’s Bachelor of Social Work Student Organization.

She traveled with other social work students and faculty members to El Salvador in the spring for a study abroad course. “My duties are many, but I am loving every minute of all that I am doing right now,” she said.

by Michele Coffill

This story was filed with the tags: Helping the Community, Impressive Internships, Scholarships