Meet Brynna Sentel

Inclusive, Welcoming Atmosphere Found Here

As a child, Brynna Sentel watched her mother graduate from college. In that moment, the young girl knew she would one day follow her mother’s footsteps and walk across a stage to receive her college diploma. But which stage?

Fast forward to her last years of high school. Among the deluge of college mail, one postcard advertising a small liberal arts college in Indiana stood out. Living in small-town Sullivan, Illinois, she had never heard of Franklin College. But the teacher-to-student ratio piqued her interest, so Brynna checked out the college online.

Brynna Sentel

“I knew that I wanted to swim in college. So, the first thing that I always looked up was, ‘Do they have a swim team?’ And then I looked up, “Do they have a journalism program?’ I knew in high school I wanted to major in journalism.” – Sentel

Franklin’s multi-media journalism program promised a wealth of opportunities, and the swim team offered her the chance to participate in her favorite sport and make friends. Although Brynna is a naturally talkative person, she still worried about making relationships in a different town.

To learn more about Franklin College’s swim team, she contacted swim coach, Andrew Hendricks. “I reached out to the coach, and I just loved everything about him. I just loved how the team atmosphere was. And so, I came on a visit and I fell in love. I didn’t look at any other schools other than Franklin.” – Sentel

Hendricks was more than a swim coach. From checking on her grades to checking in with her to see how she was doing mentally with the stress of college, Coach Hendricks has been a major source of support to Brynna – like a second dad.

“On top of asking how our mental health is and how our physical health is, if you just seem a little off one day, he’ll pull you aside and see if you’re okay because he’s gotten to a point where he knows each individual swimmer on a personal level.” – Sentel

And each swimmer follows Hendricks’ example to make each newcomer feel a part of the team. Brynna was delighted to find that her team embraced her, and she instantly had 40 friends.

“I didn’t know anybody at the school. And as soon as I walked in, I had 40 friends just from being on the team. Our coach really emphasized including the freshmen. Now I’ve been a part of how we’ve done different things to make freshmen feel more included and feel more part of the team.” – Sentel

This inclusivity was not exclusive to the swim team. As a senior preparing to turn her tassel from right to left in May of 2021, Brynna appreciates there was hardly a corner of Franklin College that did not make her feel welcomed immediately.

“Being a small school and being so inclusive helped me adjust more. We demonstrate inclusivity all the time.” – Sentel

You don’t have to be part of a team to be part of the Franklin College family. Visit today and experience our inclusive atmosphere for yourself.

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