When Jordyn Walters made her decision to attend Winona State University, she was looking for a place where she could get involved, meet new people, and be a part of something bigger.

“I chose Winona State because when I toured campus, the atmosphere was so welcoming, and I felt as if I could call this place my home,” she said.

Walters, who is graduating with a degree in elementary education, said her advice for future Warriors is to try to talk to someone new every day.

“Start by joining a club, and you will meet so many new people, and become friends with people you may not have expected!”

Walters took her own advice and joined many clubs at WSU. Going one step further, she took on leadership roles in many of these organizations, including the Student International Literacy Association, Homecoming Committee, Residence Housing Association, and serving as a Student Orientation Leader.

Her activities on and off campus included organizing reading events for Winona’s youth at the Winona Public Library, volunteering at Kids First, and planning WSU’s annual Homecoming celebration.

“My favorite part of my experience at WSU was the numerous opportunities I had to collaborate with new people, teach and work with youth, and plan and deliver experiences for the student body,” she said.

During her freshman year, Walters had the opportunity to travel to St. Louis, Mo., to give a presentation about the Green Bandana Project. The presentation was intended to help other universities adopt this important suicide prevention and mental health awareness movement.

The experience was rewarding for Walters, as it demonstrated the impact she could have on educating others.

This summer, Walters plans to teach summer school and then transition to teaching at the elementary or middle school level next fall. Her goal is to be able to positively influence her future students in the same way that her WSU professors have impacted her.

Winona State has helped me achieve my goals by providing me with resources, connections, and opportunities to achieve them. The faculty at WSU is beyond helpful and supportive, whether it be reaching the goals of a student organization, an academic goal, or a personal goal.

Jordyn Walters

Commencement Speaker, Winona State University

Walters is proud to be part of such a strong community that focuses on improving the world, and she plans to continue doing this after graduation.