Class project turns into a passion for SC4 student Kristy Jevens

It started as a class project for Kristy Jevens, but it has turned into a passion.

The third-year St. Clair County Community student from Port Huron has been volunteering her time and computer skills to Literacy and Beyond, building the non-profit a database to organize its information electronically.

“I thought that was the most amazing part of it — to be able to have a project that you can actually use to help somebody and have something completely solid at at the end,” Jevens said. “You don’t get that opportunity in school that often. You can intern and you’re helping people with their job, following people and watching them do something, but to have the opportunity to start with something you learned and turn it into something useful, that’s satisfying.”

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Jevens, who is studying computer information systems applications, worked with classmates Kally Smith and Tyler Cook on a group project in professor Colleen Forsgren’s CIS 284 class during the 2016 winter semester. They created a database that helped Literacy and Beyond organize its attendance and test score tracking.

Literacy and Beyond is an educational non-profit organization. Its mission is to increase education for children through literacy for them and their parents.

Jevens got the idea for the project after learning more about the organization at an event it was sponsoring.

“(The computer program) was really super impressive, even at the beginning stages,” Literacy and Beyond Program Director Jessie Wiegand said. “(Jevens) has been super supportive of our mission, and she decided she wanted to help more.”

Jevens has now created a database in which a student can check-in at Literacy and Beyond electronically, mark the activities they will be participating in while they are there, then check out. It has made reporting for Wiegand much simpler.

“Every change she makes saves me time,” Wiegand said.

Jevens is enrolled in SC4’s 3 + 1 program with Eastern Michigan University. After finishing her third year at SC4, she’ll attend Eastern Michigan for one year and finish with associate and bachelor’s degrees.

She wants to work with databases after graduation. She’s already off to quite a start.

“We went to a conference last week and nobody is using this,” Wiegand said. “I keep telling her, ‘You need to get this out there, because so many organizations will use this.’”

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