GSU, a place to grow
Graduate Profile: Summer Rainey
Summer Rainey came to Governors State University (GSU) with a feeling that it was a great place for her to grow and come out of her comfort zone. Rainey, who underwent arteriovenous malformations (AVM) surgery as a child, overcame her condition, took back her self-confidence, and now counts earning her college degree as a wonderful accomplishment.
Within her first year at GSU, she participated in the Black Student Union and later joined the Student Activities Council, though one of the highlights of her journey at GSU was being a resident assistant during the summer of 2022.
This experience allowed her to spread positivity and encouragement to the residents of Prairie Place, and to connect with others while also improving her skill set. As Summer anticipates graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Health Science in Community Health and a minor in Psychology, she feels grateful to GSU and everyone she met on her academic journey for helping her get where she is today.
Clearly, she has left her comfort zone behind! Her future plans include working in the field of community health to connect underserved communities to healthcare resources.
GSU Newsroom: Why did you choose GSU?
Rainey: I chose GSU because I knew that this would be the place that would help me step out of my comfort zone. I have always been a very timid person, but I knew that attending this university would encourage me to overcome it.
GSU Newsroom: What are your dreams or plans for your degree?
Rainey: With my degree, I have hopes of working in the community health field. In the near future I hope to be able to educate my community on the importance of health, and hopefully I can provide resources for healthcare in the minority communities.
GSU Newsroom: What was GSU's role in making your dreams come true?
Rainey: GSU provided me free mental health counseling when I was going through so many personal issues my first year in 2019. Not only that, they always offered student employment, and I got my first job ever during my first year at GSU. Some of my dreams were to just step out of my comfort zone and become more confident so I can take those leaps of faith to follow my dreams. GSU was always a helping hand and I am very grateful for everyone I met there. Because of GSU, I was able to get a jump start on my career before I graduated!
GSU Newsroom: What are your top two experiences at GSU and why?
Rainey: One of my top experiences was being a STEAM Camp coach. I really enjoyed this experience because I was able to be a mentor to so many young kids from different backgrounds. Also being able to learn from the other counselors and create friendships was amazing. Another experience that I am really grateful for is being an RA for the summer of 2022. This experience helped me sharpen so many skills needed for the professional world, and I was able to make great connections with my peers and higher ups. I enjoyed the responsibilities that I was given, and that was the first summer where I didn’t have any struggles with my mental health.
GSU Newsroom: What advice would you give to current and/or future GSU students?
Rainey: Some advice I would give is to always show up for yourself even when you feel like no one is showing up for you! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith. The best is yet to come!
GSU Newsroom: What's next after graduation?
Rainey: As cliché as this probably sounds, after graduation I plan on bettering myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I want to align myself with the plans God has for me. And I hope those plans are better health and success!