Meet the Graduate: Brookelynn Bahnsen

Enrolling in the Academic Transfer program at Southeast Community College has its benefits. Some of those include taking your gen eds at an affordable price and making a smooth transition from high school to a four-year college or university. Another benefit is figuring out what career is best for you. Brookelynn Bahnsen knows this first-hand from experience.

“I decided to pursue this degree after high school because I was not sure what I wanted to do or where to go,” Bahnsen said. “I had a few ideas and had toured some schools, but nothing really stood out to me. I knew I wanted to start college right away, but I didn’t want to make a big financial commitment. Since I was on the fence, SCC Beatrice was my best fit.”

Bahnsen graduated from Beatrice High School in 2022 and started at the SCC Beatrice Campus that Fall Semester. She graduates on Thursday, Dec. 14, with an Associate of Arts degree with plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education or sociology. Taking a variety of classes during her first semester helped her narrow her career options.

“My first semester at SCC, I took an Intro to Professional Education class with Nick Salestrom,” she explained. “This class not only became one of my all-time favorites and taught me some important skills for college, but it was all the advice and support I received from Mr. Salestrom that really made an impact in my life.”

Taking a business class at SCC also helped her discover her passion for education and teaching.

“I took a random business class with Jonah Jordening my first semester at SCC and quickly realized business was not for me,” Bahnsen said. “That said, his positive outlook made all of his classes really enjoyable and kept me coming back. He also took on the task of being my faculty advisor despite not having anything to do with my program and has been incredibly helpful and supportive.”

She is leaving SCC better prepared for her future because she was pushed to try new things by taking a variety of classes. Trying something new is rewarding, and you don’t have to be the best at everything. She wished she could have shared this advice with herself as a high school senior.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself in high school to have my whole life figured out at 17,” Bahnsen said. “If I could go back and give myself advice, it would be to not stress out about having everything figured out right away. Plans change, and that’s OK. Once I figured this out at SCC, I really enjoyed learning about what career options are out there. Sometimes you have to figure out what you don’t want to do by trying new things.”

One thing Bahnsen will miss about SCC is the incredible people she met along the way, including several instructors.

“My teachers at SCC opened so many doors for me and genuinely care about me as a person and a student,” she said. “I know I will have their help and support after I graduate, and that is really cool. I would not have gotten to where I am in my college education without them and will forever be incredibly grateful.”

Jennifer Snyder
Communications Specialist