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Courtney Klingbeil

Please state your class standing, major(s), minor(s), and any area of specializations.
I am a Senior pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a double specialization in Leadership and Management as well as Finance.

What challenges have you faced on your path to pursuing a college education, either prior to or during your time on campus?

Before having my daughter, the challenge I faced was getting an education without getting into a severe accumulation of debt. To overcome this, I worked fulltime and paid approximately $900 a month on top of all my other bills. Once having my daughter, I was finally allowed to file head of household and receive grants to pay for my classes now. Having a child while taking college courses is challenging because babies always need attention, I had to figure out how to multitask doing school and taking care of an infant. This looked like, doing homework at all hours of the night and reading finance books to her instead of nursery rhymes. I now can work less because of the grants I receive and spend that time taking care of my daughter now; it is all relative.

What is your proudest accomplishment at CWU?

I am proud of myself for not quitting. I never pictured myself getting a degree and I have overcome many personal obstacles to become a better person, a better mom, and a better student. Becoming a mom has given me a more positive outlook on life and has already led me to achieve more than I would have without her in my life, such as Moms for Moms. Professor Parks’ leadership capstone project was the most fulfilling assignment I completed while attending CWU and I am so happy to have been able to lead that project.

Describe which CB resources (faculty members, the CAT Center, Career Services, scholarships, etc.) have enriched your time at Central.

My first two years at Central when I attended the Ellensburg campus, I had wonderful professors. Pedro Cavazos (an English professor) really encouraged my learning my freshman and sophomore year. We had similar past obstacles and he was very helpful in motivating myself to do and to be better. He no longer teaches at CWU and I have not had contact with him in 3 years, but he enriched my time at Central.

How did you decide to start Moms for Moms & what has been the greatest lesson you've learned through your involvement?

Becoming a new mom, I joined Facebook groups for other moms in Pierce county, hoping to get parenting advice, make new friends, get recommendation for local stores/ activities, etc. I discovered through these groups that many moms in my community are struggling financially and I wanted to help. The leadership capstone project gave me a way to do that. My group members I had already known through a different course, and they were also moms. We were a perfect match to complete the task of benefiting moms in our community.

The greatest lesson I learned through this project is that people do care if you give them a reason to. Meaning, most will not go out of their way to help moms in need unless they are given an avenue to do so. I know a lot of people view these moms and blame them for becoming pregnant and not being able to provide for their child, but nobody can put themselves in their shoes. Nobody knows their situation and instead of putting judgment on these moms it is so much more beneficial to give a helping hand. I had no idea that so many people would donate to our project, it still leaves me speechless.

What has the experience been like with mentoring?

Danielle, my mentor, is the best. She is so helpful in all regards. She may have been the best thing to happen to my professional career so far. Danielle is giving me real-world insight and business connections. She gives me tasks each week to help me grow and learn about myself as a businesswoman. I had no idea of how to get an internship, what career I could see myself in, how to make connections through informational interviews, etc. before meeting her. This experience makes me want to become a mentor for CWU in the future. Everyone at Central should have a Danielle in their life.

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