Jen Snedeker ‘21 grew up with a mother who is a nurse and a father who was a state trooper. This influenced her interest and passion for helping others and for becoming a leader in her community.
It’s why she’s double majoring in criminal justice and psychology (with a concentration in mental health). She hopes to one day work as a counselor within an Oncology unit.
With ambition in academics and for her future career, Jen says Thomas College academics is helping to prepare her.
“Thomas College has challenged many, academically and socially,” she said. “The professors push you to be the best you can be, they want to see you succeed and will not stop until you succeed. The social aspect of Thomas can also be challenging because of the smaller school size, but this can also be very rewarding. Coming from a small high school I fully understood what the feeling of living on Thomas’s campus would be like, and it truly helps you to build stronger, more personalized relationships that will benefit you in the future.”
Jen is also working on that goal of being a leader in her community as a Resident Assistant, Student Senate member, and intramural participant.
Both Jen’s brother and grandmother are graduates of Thomas College. Her brother, Brian, who most recently graduated and is now working as a high school teacher, encouraged Jen to explore Thomas College as an option when she was looking for a college to attend.
“I chose Thomas because it had a major that I was interested in, and my brother thought the professors to be very knowledgeable in their field of teaching which also played an important factor for me as well. I applied for seven colleges and was accepted into all of them, but Thomas felt like home to me from the minute I stepped onto campus.”
Now that Jen has been here for a couple of years, she says her favorite thing about Thomas is the tight-knit community and diversity on campus.
“Knowing that everyone comes from different backgrounds, different life stories, different ethnicities is one thing, but truly learning how they all operate from the inside is another thing, and this is important to me and many others at Thomas to learn more about them,” she said. “This past summer I had the opportunity to leave the United States for the first time and travel to Spain to meet my boyfriend’s family. This was an experience that I will never forget, and I believe Thomas offered this experience to me by allowing me to meet a person from a different culture and background.”
Jen has also enjoyed the faculty and staff she has met along the way at Thomas College.
“My advisor Tracey Horton has been a huge help to me by setting me up with the right tools and knowledge on which majors and minors to pursue in order to reach my goal in becoming a counselor. She is a professor that is very personable and is willing to help in any way she can to make sure her students are successful. She pushes her students to do well and this is what people like me need, a challenge to prepare us for the future,” she said.
“Michael Sales is also an important face on campus, pretty much any after-school activity that you see is his doing, with the help of students. Thomas prides themselves on producing students that have community background, and I have found Michael Sales to provide the most opportunity to volunteer and the most opportunity to just leave your room and get more involved on campus. If he sees you in the commons or a hallway, he will mention something about an activity that is happening that day or later in the week. Since my first year at Thomas, Michael Sales has been the face of student activities and community service throughout the campus.”
Overall, choosing Thomas College seems to have worked out for Jen.
“Thomas College has helped shape me into who I am today. I have met many people who I believe I will remain friends with for the rest of my life, including my boyfriend who I met my third week in the college of our first semester in 2017,” she said. “I have also become close with a few professors that genuinely care about the well-being of the students and have proven to me that they want me to succeed in the future and will help me to do so. Thomas has shown me that when things happen, good or bad, I know I have a family to come back to. Thomas has made me a stronger leader by providing me with the opportunities to do so and this will make me a stronger candidate for future career options.”