PSU volleyball player strives to help young students and athletes

Jenna Mullen’s athletic and academic performances at Portland State have been impressive. One of the four seniors on the PSU Volleyball squad, Mullen has been part of the team since her freshman year. She has worked her way into being a fixture within the squad, even earning the Big Sky Conference award for Outstanding Freshman in 2016. Mullen has also consistently proven to be an outstanding student, earning academic honors from the Big Sky Conference every season.

Mullen didn’t hesitate to give recognition to her outside influences. “I’ve had a lot of help along my way and along my journey,” Mullen said, crediting her athletic and academic success to a slew of positive role models who helped her reach such achievements.

All that support instilled a sense of responsibility in Mullen early on, leading her to pursue avenues through which she could help others. During her time at Emerald Ridge High School, Mullen participated in the Emerald Ridge Transition Team, a group that focused on assisting junior high students in the area. She also served as a coach, scorekeeper and official in the RAGE Youth Volleyball League and spent time volunteering at St. Francis House, an organization that provides food and clothing to those in need.

Upon graduation, Mullen intends to pursue a master’s degree in educational counseling and would like to attend school close to her hometown of Puyallup, WA. “I want to get back into coaching for my old high school team and club teams,” said Mullen, who sees sharing her experience with younger athletes as another way to benefit those around her.

It is no surprise Mullen pursued higher education as a way to be of service. “I want to focus on going into counseling in a school setting,” said Mullen, who is in the final year of her bachelor’s degree in the Health and Family Services program at PSU. According to Mullen, her time at PSU has allowed her to learn leadership skills from individuals who are great leaders themselves. “It has been great have such an awesome group of coaches and professors who can help mold you into who you want to be,” she said.

It seems as though Mullen possesses an undeterrable drive to seek out and help those who are in need of some guidance—a quality many can recall observing in those who have helped them along the way. “I would love to be the person [who] helps someone succeed. I want to be the one who makes sure kids graduate, they find their path, they have success in high school just like I did and go on to pursue college,” said Mullen. “I want them to know there is someone out there who supports them.”