Charmaine (Charlie) Engum is a second-year general studies student at Great Falls College MSU. She is president of the campus Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Vice President of the GFC MSU Associated Students, an American Indian Scholar, leads Service Saturdays, organizes campus blood drives, collaborates to provide Thanksgiving meals for low-income students, and volunteers for the campus food pantry weekly. She works closely with the Office of Student Engagement to help make our community more involved. She works in the Academic Success Center as a tutor for writing, chemistry and music. She recently received a Montana Student Volunteer award sponsored by GFC MSU and the Governor’s Office of Community Service and has been accepted into the Montana NEW Leadership Program. She plans to pursue a nursing degree at Montana State University, after graduating this spring from GFC MSU.
I grew up in a poverty ridden and a very dysfunctional family. I always felt stifled by them, when it came to my thoughts and feelings about everything. Growing up with a lack of confidence in myself kept me in a stagnant lifestyle. I didn’t think I was ever good enough for the world around me. I eventually realized my vulnerabilities and weaknesses were in fact my biggest strengths. It was a type of resiliency I learned I needed to achieve balance, confidence and personal strength in my life. I became committed to helping others around me, to finding strength and guidance in their lives.
While being extremely involved in everything on campus, I experienced other students just like me, who were struggling from whatever challenges they faced. I mentored others to get involved, while organizing campus turkey drives, leading Service Saturdays, being the Associated Students’ events coordinator and Vice President, working in the Office of Student Engagement with campus happenings, and managing blood drives. I believe every person has something to offer, no matter how they see themselves. It is all energy that can be used to boost the morale of our community one person at a time.