Jeimmy Grosland's journey to Southwest Minnesota State University began in an orphanage in Bogota, Colombia.
Five at the time, she found herself there with her three siblings. The particulars of how the four children arrived at the orphanage are not crystal clear.
"I was five at the time," she said, "so I don't remember a lot about it."
Enter adoptive parents Steve and Nancy Grosland, formerly of Lake Benton, now of Madelia.
"They wanted two of us, but the orphanage told them 'You get all of them, or none of them,'" said Grosland.
"That's about the way it went," said Steve Grosland. "We had been going through Lutheran Social Services in the Twin Cities. It was a challenge for us to milk cows and make all of the sessions in the Twin Cities we had to be at. We requested an application for up to two children, and I think we were approved for three. One night, we were faxed a picture of one child, and we had to respond by the next day. Well, the next day another picture was faxed to us showing the three girls. So we had to make a decision about what we wanted to do. It was no decision, really. We instantly said yes."
The acclimation to life in the U.S. was not easy for Jeimmy.
"I remember staying up every night, studying the English language," she said of those early years in the United States. She attended elementary school in Lake Benton until she was about 10, when the family moved off of its dairy farm to an acreage near Madelia, where Steve Grosland works for Agstar Financial Services.
The four Grosland children are Patty, 22, a student at the University of Minnesota; Jeimmy (pronounced Jamie); Judy, a sophomore at SMSU; and Bryan, 19, in his first year at South Central College in Mankato.
Jeimmy Grosland is a junior business management major and marketing minor. She transferred from South Central College, a two-year institution, this past fall.
"I got my generals done there," she said. "It was economical to do it that way. I saved a lot, and lived with my parents. I knew when I started at South Central that I had a path of where I was going. The marketing minor came about when I was talking with my adviser, Dr. Gerry Toland. He has been very helpful."
After graduating from Madelia High School, she attended Model College of Hair Design in Mankato. Blessed with drive and an inquisitive nature, she decided to pursue a four-year degree, and chose SMSU for her final two years because "I like the size, and the students. People care here," she said.
Grosland grew up with a strong work ethic and works about 35 hours per week split between two jobs to help pay for her education. She is employed as a hair stylist at Salon 101, and also works at Glik's in the mall. That demanding schedule leaves little time to get involved with clubs and organizations.
"I wish I had more time," she said. "I'd like to get involved with the marketing club."
She works at one of her two jobs every week day, and alternating Saturdays. When she does have a free weekend, she returns to Madelia, where she has a boyfriend.
When does she study?
"At night, usually," she said. "I also have an hour between classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I need quiet to study, so if I'm at school I like to go to the third floor of the library." She made the dean's list last semester and is quietly proud of what she's been able to accomplish.
In the morning, her alarm goes off at 7 a.m. After an evening class, or work, she'll stay up until midnight studying. She has a very regimented schedule, and she likes it that way.
As someone with formal stylist training, she has a lot of friends who drop by for haircuts. Thankfully, that's one of the things she enjoys most. After she graduates, she would like to have her own booth "and start cutting hair for myself" or else obtain a position as a salesperson.
"I'd sell a product I believe in," she said.
Keeping the four children together has been a lifelong blessing, and Grosland is keenly aware things could have gone differently for the four children.
"It was what was meant to be," said Steve Grosland.