Exactly Where I Want To Be
“It wasn’t until I came to visit Central that I realized this was exactly where I wanted to be.”
— Hailey Swan ’23
Hometown: Bloomfield, Iowa
Major: Communication Studies
Scholarships: Rev. Herman and Thyrza Eringa Harmelink and Dora Eringa Scholarships
Campus Activities: FCA Leader, Student Senate, Central Spirit Shoppe employee, Central Communications Office junior content specialist, communications director for Pella Backstage Pass
Career Goal: Admission Representative at Central College
Hailey Swan ’23 isn’t your typical 20-something. She has a sparkle about her that’s as unique to her as her experience at Central College. Maybe that shine comes partly from the crown she wore as the 2018 Iowa State Fair Queen, but we know there’s so much more to her than being a past pageant queen.
An Iowa native, Swan grew up in Bloomfield, Iowa, and often visited Pella growing up.
“We would come here and go to Jaarsma Bakery and the different boutiques around town or grab coffee before heading to Des Moines,” Swan says. “Pella is like a home away from home.”
Swan’s Central experience started off a little untraditional. She began her college journey at a community college but knew it wasn’t her perfect fit. Swan’s desire to continue learning helped her find her way back to Central, starting with a visit.
“What I absolutely loved about coming to visit Central is I met great people and great professors who showed me the opportunities here truly are endless,” she says. “It wasn’t until I came to visit Central that I realized this is exactly where I want to be.”
Swan quickly saw the positive impact of her new home away from home. She found her place on Central’s campus and started getting involved.
“You have so much opportunity to grow here as a well-rounded person,” she says. “Central does a great job of allowing you to be a student, learn how to be a professional, as well as mature as a person. You get to grow in all three aspects here.”
With a passion for communication, it’s no wonder Swan was drawn to communication studies as her major.
“The relationship of communication is listening to people and humbling yourself enough to be able to hear their stories and then share those with the world,” Swan says. “I love being around people and being in community. It’s what makes my heart tick.”
“The people at Central understand that you are still a student and you are still discovering what you want to do,” she adds. “My advisors value who I am and what I want to do. I’ve really learned the importance of investing in relationships here.”
Outside of the classroom, Swan practices the skills she’s learned at Central.
“With service learning at Central, I have the opportunity to get out into the Pella community,” she says. “As part of my class work with local organizations I see how building and maintaining relationships is key. Central does a great job of allowing you to reach out to different places in the community, as well as them reaching out to you on campus. All of it has led to feeling very welcomed by the entire community.”
Swan has seen firsthand how the community and the college work hand in hand.
“Central does an amazing job of building community with the Pella community,” she says. “It’s not just a partnership; it’s a family as well. So, no matter if you’re a first-year student or a third-year student coming in as a transfer, you’re going to feel at home here at Central.”