West River Area Health Education Center

Monthly AHEC Scholar Profile - October 2023

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Meet two of our 2022 AHEC Scholars!  This month we are excited to feature Heather Rahder, a BSN student at SDSU in Rapid City, and Jenni Bauer, who recently completed her Counseling & Human Resource Development M.S. with a Marriage and Family Counseling Specialization through SDSU.

                                                                                                 Heather Rahder - SDSU BSN student

    Hello! My name is Heather Rahder. I was born and raised in the Black Hills. I have two busy children, Morgan and Jayden. My daughter Morgan is a junior in high school, and she loves humor, art, dance, and cheerleading. My son Jayden is in 7th grade, and he loves facts, animals, Roblox and rollerblading.              

    I am a senior nursing student pursuing my bachelor’s degree through South Dakota State University, and I will be graduating in December. I have a strong interest in rural healthcare along with providing support for the medically underserved populations. West River AHEC has provided an opportunity to advance my education in these areas, which otherwise would have been omitted. After completing 160 additional hours of clinical and didactic education, I’ve learned to appreciate and understand different aspects and challenges that rural populations experience. I’ve gained even more respect for our indigenous communities and culture, and I feel confident saying that with having this supplemental education, I can provide higher quality care that is unique and personalized to each patient that I support.

    Upon graduation, I plan on working in intensive care units and continuing to provide care in rural areas.

                                                                                          Jenni Bauer - SDSU M.S. in Counseling student
    I am a life-long learner who is passionate about living my best life and helping others do the same.  I  am a certified life and health coach, a clinical mental health counseling intern, and I play a role in administration at a group counseling practice with offices across the state.  As a counselor, my mission is to walk along side and empower individuals to engage in and progress through life with joy and perseverance.  

    My passion is working with teens, adults, couples and families to facilitate growth,  identify goals and move forward with hope. I believe that wellness is multidimensional and each area is interconnected.  

    My background includes bachelor’s degrees from South Dakota State University in Business Economics and Sociology, Life Coaching certification through Christian Coach Institute and Personal Training and Health Coach certifications from the American Council on Exercise.   I grew up in Lennox, SD, went to college in Brookings, and moved to Pierre in 2005 to begin an exciting journey as a wife, mother, professional, and volunteer.  I have had the pleasure of working in numerous positions throughout state government as well multiple positions in the private sector.   I feel that my unique and diverse experiences have shaped me and can assist me to better support those I serve throughout SD.

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