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Dec. 16, 2016
Jacob Kelow knew when he arrived at Northwest Missouri State University that he wanted a career that involved helping people, but making connections with others didn’t come as easily to him as it does now.
“I had a really hard time coming into college, just putting myself out there and making connections,” he said. “Now my problem is the exact opposite. I don’t want to leave.”
Kelow enrolled at Northwest as a biology and psychology major with hopes of entering the physical therapy field. But he changed his direction after taking sociology and psychology courses and contemplating societal themes.
This fall, Kelow, of Kansas City, Missouri, completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. He will begin a master’s program at Northwest in the spring and plans to become a guidance counselor with an intent to help people, “no matter their situation, no matter their background.”
Kelow says his experiences at Northwest helped him realize how to connect with people and build an identity. He played a role in chartering the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity in 2014 and was active in the Minority Men’s Organization. He also worked for Auxiliary Services as a student manager in the J.W. Jones Student for nearly three years.
“I’ve built so many connections here over the last four years that I feel like it would be kind of crazy for me to leave and not take advantage of the opportunities that this campus has given me,” Kelow said. “I definitely see myself staying here for the next few years, getting my master’s degree in guidance and counseling.”
Kelow believes education is a key to success and understood the importance of attending college. He became the first in his family to earn a college degree.
He hopes to advance toward earning a doctorate degree and maybe even operate a school.
“If you want to be successful, more times than not, you’ve got to be educated,” Kelow said. “That was the drive behind wanting to pursue my degree. I also want to help my own family. I want to see them in a better position than when I left. I want to improve the condition of everyone around me.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468