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Humans of the U: Kobe Jeppesen

“I grew up in Eagle, Idaho, and I wanted to get a college experience where I’d live in the dorms and be away from my family. But I also wanted to stay close enough that I could drive home on the weekend if I wanted to. So for me, Salt Lake was like the perfect compromise.

I toured the University of Utah’s campus my senior year of high school and I just fell in love with it. I remember standing by the Block U in the middle of campus by the Union and thinking, “This is cool. I can come here.”

I actually applied as a political science major. After my first week here, I switched all of my classes to be a biology major. I scraped by that first semester, but I almost flunked out of my first biology class. So, I was looking for a new major. My aunt is a licensed clinical social worker and she told me that her career was very fun and rewarding. I went to a major fair and got a list of the social work classes I would take in the program, and I was sold. Two and a half years later, I am graduating with my Bachelor of Social Work and preparing to start my Master of Social Work at the U this fall.

I want to continue my education because getting my master’s degree will really allow me to specialize in my field. I am super interested in clinical mental health work and providing therapy. In an internship I did during my undergraduate degree, I worked closely with queer youth and that sparked a passion for me. As a queer person myself, I would like to keep working with queer youth and young adults. The two degrees I will earn from the U and the experiences I have had here are going to be instrumental in allowing me to give back to my community.

During my undergraduate degree, I feel like I learned a lot about being introspective and working to deconstruct the implicit biases I have. I’m learning to improve my cultural humility. I have learned to question the things I believe and to review whether those beliefs line up with my values. Social work is the perfect field for that, and I am going to need these skills going forward as I work with people.”

— Kobe Jeppesen, a Master of Social Work student from Eagle, ID