WVJC Staff Highlight – Jean Baker, Financial Aid Officer
As the new Financial Aid Officer at the West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport campus, Jean Baker is looking forward to helping people attain their higher education goals by supporting them through the financial aid process. In her employment at WVJC, she has found an organization that cares for every one of their students, and the support they give every step of the way throughout their education and after is one of the things Jean values the most.
“I’ve always wanted to do something that creates a direct benefit to the world, and at WVJC, I really feel like I’m directly providing good for our students and the community.”
Coming from a less than typical educational background in this field, Jean graduated from West Virginia University with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources in 2020. She found the financial aid process at a large institution impersonal and confusing and felt like she was struggling alone to figure out how to combine her loans and different types of financial aid. “I want to keep anyone else from ever feeling that way – and this is a place where we can take that one-on-one time with a student. Financial aid can be the most intimidating aspect of pursuing higher education, and I’m so excited to help people figure out how we can make it work for them and to make the process as transparent as possible,” says Jean.
She has a great love for the outdoors and can be found hiking, lake or river swimming, or camping on any given weekend. Jean also appreciates her indoor activities, which include cross stitching, tabletop games, and baking – she makes hundreds of cookies every holiday season to share with family and friends. She enjoys attending food and art festivals, visiting small museums, and learning about what makes different places unique. Jean is originally from West Virginia and though she grew up in Ohio, coming back to West Virginia and doing something to contribute to the state and the ones living in it was always her plan.