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Photo by Michelle LaVigne/Creative Services
First year graduate student Danielle Owen of Chicago, Ill., is majoring in mental health counseling. Having completed her undergrad work at NIU as well, Owen has already been working on campus, as a Supplemental Instruction (SI) tutor. She chose the role because she wanted to help students. The program is designed to focus on peer on peer tutoring and in turn lower the rate of students in high risk courses. "Sometimes it's better to hear it from another student, this is peers helping peers," Owen explained. Being a leader in the program has helped Owen as she helps others. "I'm always nervous talking in front of people," Owen said. "But the great thing about the program is that it put me in front of people and helped with confidence." With her education focus on mental health, Owen has her future goals set for creating a nonprofit geared toward health and wellness, bringing awareness to mental health issues and showing people the things that can do to help their mental health that they may have not thought of, such as meditation. "I want to reach out to everybody," Owen said. "Especially in the African American community. They tend to think if they can't see it (mental health issues,) that they aren't there." Owen credits NIU’s CHANCE program and the Access department for helping her develop into the person she is today. “Those were the avenues that showed me everybody needs a chance and everybody needs help.”

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