- Assistant Director of Admissions, Hablo español
Jenelle Martin has a passion for serving others. The Northeast Iowa native, who’s fluent in Spanish, was drawn to Storm Lake for the diverse culture and scenic location its community provides.
“I am bilingual, and my husband is Latin-American. I wanted to be in a location where I could use my Spanish outside of work and get more involved in a community that was diverse while serving an underrepresented population,” she says.
The University of Northern Iowa alum earned her bachelor’s degree in business and Spanish in 2014. While there, she stayed involved in international and multi-cultural groups as a student and even became an International Programs Assistant. She says her route to her bachelor’s was pretty non-traditional. Jenelle attended community college for a year and then took three years off and worked for Disney before returning to Iowa to attend UNI.
And while that experience was unlike anything else, for Jenelle, it inspires her to be a resource for students who are unsure of their journey. “I want to be something to somebody and help students work through their passions and interests,” she says. “If I had someone like that when I was exploring colleges, discovering my path would have been even easier.”
Jenelle recently moved back to the U.S. after living in Nicaragua for just over three years. There she worked for a non-profit that connected students from campuses across the world to service missions for the rural communities. Her work was fueled by her desire to make an impact on society and create positive change through the promotion of sustainable development and service to others.