Scholarship helps Jelley navigate difficult path toward a law degree

Tristen Jelley, Jefferson County
Tristen Jelley, Jefferson County

By Jeff Wilson

Tristen Jelley’s path from Mount Vernon Township High School to an SIU law degree wasn’t a smooth one.

“I was involved in two different car accidents, at no fault of my own, within a period of 18 months. Both resulted in traumatic brain injuries,” she said. “Unfortunately, these are lifelong injuries that I can never fully recover from, but I have recovered better than expected.”

With assistance from scholarships, such as the Charles D. and Fairy B. Neal Scholarship, Jelley has been able to pursue his goal of becoming a personal injury attorney.

“Being a scholarship recipient allows me to focus on my studies and not have to worry about seeking employment to pay for my tuition and necessary expenses,” she said.

Upon graduation, she hopes to remain in Southern Illinois.

“I want to help those in similar situations because I know what it is like to be in those same shoes at no fault of your own,” she said. “I am forever grateful that this goal of mine wasn’t cut short and that I am one step closer to becoming an attorney every day.”

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