It started with a California woman who was rude to a Starbucks barista but apologized the next day with a card and a $50 bill.
After discussing that feel-good story March 28, Mix 93.3 morning hosts Rocket and Teresa threw open the phone lines to listeners who wanted to thank someone, even a total stranger. It’s a segment they do every Tuesday.
Jenny Jensen, an MCC-Maple Woods student and “a young mom of 27,” called to sing the praises of MCC counselor Jeff Wilt.
“I just want to thank Jeff so much, thank him for taking the time out of his day every single day to make the students who don’t really feel really good about themselves to shine,” she told the radio hosts.
[ To hear Jenny Jensen’s complete “Thank You” on Mix 93.3, click here. Her segment starts at 1:40. ]
Later, Jensen gave us a little more of the back story. Her child’s father died in August 2015 at age 22 as a result of drug addiction, and for months afterward she was despondent and purposeless.
“I was unable to really keep a job because I was so depressed,” says Jensen, whose daughter is now 4.
It was her former boyfriend’s dad who encouraged her to go to college. MCC-Maple Woods was close by and affordable, so last fall the Winnetonka High School grad started work on an associate in arts degree.
It was in College 100, the one-credit First Year Seminar course required of most freshmen, that she met Wilt, who’s been an MCC counselor since 2005. He was co-instructor of her section.
Part of her life story came out in class and part of it in conversations with the counselor.
“He’s just such a warm person,” Jensen says. “The whole semester, little things he would say to me were just so encouraging.”
Wilt was inspirational and motivational, she adds.
“We all feel like we have a little bit of light in us, but sometimes we lose sight of that. I felt he really helped remind me that that light is still there — which is huge.”
Wilt also recommended Jensen for a student leadership position, which led to her landing a new campus position as one of two Maple Woods Career Ambassadors, starting this fall. She’ll help peers with things like resumes and cover letters.
As for her own career, after completing work at MCC, Jensen plans to transfer to Rockhurst University and earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She’d like to work for Cerner.
Wilt, meanwhile, heard from a couple of people — including his daughter’s fourth-grade teacher, while he was having lunch at her school — that a student had said nice things about him on the radio. But it wasn’t until the following day that he learned which student it was.
“That’s incredibly nice of her, very sweet of her,” he says.
He has good things to say about Jensen, too, “not only attitude and motivation-wise but academically. She is a natural leader,” Wilt says.
“She’s going to do some great things. On top of that, she’s had many things that she’s overcoming and is still just persistent.
“It’s always nice when you get a chance to work with students who are focused on what they want and making a difference.”