Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Jenna Swiggard

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Jenna Swiggard

Role Model

Through her lessons learned at the Island University, Jenna Swiggard is taking the lead as a role model, inspiring children to make positive choices for the future.

After working for two years at an after school program, Swiggard discovered her passion for interacting with kids. It was at that time she realized she had an even deeper connection working one-on-one with children. So when the Houston, Texas, native enrolled at the Island University as an incoming freshman in fall 2010, she decided to pursue psychology. 

Last semester through one of her classes, Swiggard gave back to the community working with Child Protective Services, where she observed many of the psychology concepts that are taught to undergraduate students. Through her service with CPS, she witnessed how important positive one-on-one relationships are in shaping the lives of our youth. 

“I was able to observe interviews between the case worker and children, family visits, court trials, and taking parents to shelters,” Swiggard said.

Swiggard has committed many hours to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Each month, she spends time with her little sister, Christeen. The pair, who has grown close in the last year, have baked, watched movies, played board games, gone swimming, and attend community events together.

“Being a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, allows me to encourage positive choices for youth including staying in school, going to college, and not drinking alcohol or doing drugs,” she said.

During the summer, Swiggard worked as an Islander Recreational Camp counselor during a six-week program to engage kids ages 6-12 in group activities, art work, and teamwork.

“This was not only my favorite job, but the opportunity provided me with valuable experience for my future career,” Swiggard said.

Swiggard, who graduates in December 2012, has had nothing but support for her early graduation from her professors and mentor, Dr. Miguel Moreno. After she graduates, she plans to enter a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology Program and continue her studies focusing on child, adolescent, and family psychology.
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