Despite life’s struggles, Northeast student shines as a leader


NORFOLK- Struggles and hardships have accompanied Hannah Schmeckpeper throughout her academic journey, but her strength as a leader and desire to succeed has carried her through these difficulties.

Schmeckpeper, of Bloomfield, a sophomore at Northeast Community College, comes from a large, close-knit family that she draws on for support in order to reach her goals and set a positive example for her siblings. She is the eldest of five children and is the first member of her family to attend college. She often uses this status as a first-generation college student as inspiration and fuel to achieve her goals.

“Hannah values her education and understands the positive impact it will have on her future, and is excited to secure her dream job in human resources,” said Brandi Rossman, advisor in Northeast’s TRIO program.

The family has been dealing with a matter over the immigration status of their father who had to return to Mexico recently. Dealing with this legal process has brought great stress and concern to the Schmeckpeper family and has influenced the significance of Hannah’s educational success exponentially. In addition to her full-time status as a college student, she works three part-time jobs in order to improve her financial situation. It is because of her resilience and determination to overcome these obstacles that TRIO has recognized her as it’s Student of the Month for April.

Rossman said Schmeckpeper exemplifies what it means to be a leader, in and out of the classroom.

“Hannah juggles three jobs, working many hours and a full-time class schedule. She has dreams of taking over the grocery store where she works, learning and growing in a management role throughout her time there,” she said. “She is dependable, focused on her goals and is always looking for ways to better herself. I have enjoyed working with Hannah in TRIO and know she will always do what is asked of her and give 100%.”

Schmeckpeper is set to graduate in December 2020 with an Associates of Arts degree with an emphasis in Business Administration. After she graduates from Northeast, she plans to continue her education at Wayne State College where she plans to a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in International Studies.

Rossman said the TRIO Student of the Month award acknowledges outstanding TRIO students who excel in college and in their communities.

“Each month of each semester, a participating TRIO student is selected for the award based upon their work in TRIO and in other activities on campus or in the community. Award winners will receive a plaque from the TRIO Program and have their photo placed in the “TRIO Program Student of the Month” Achievement Recognition board.”

The board, located in the TRIO office, features the theme True Leaders. The board reads, “We define true leaders as those who are first to strive and who give their all for the success of the team. True leaders are first to see the need, envision the plan, and empower the team for action. By the strength of the leader’s commitment, the power of the team is unleashed.”

Northeast Community College’s TRIO program, located in the College Welcome Center on the Norfolk campus, is an academic enrichment program committed to seeing students succeed. TRIO also focuses on career exploration, cultural and social enrichment and self-awareness.

To be eligible for the program, a student must be one of the following: A first-generation student where neither parent has a four-year degree, meet income-eligibility status based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services criteria, or have a documented disability.

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