Jennie Lasko Feature

Victoria Hong, Writer

Photo by Amaranta Cuesta

Jennie Lasko was raised in a world of adversity and diversity. As immigrants from the Philippines, her parents worked day and night in order to raise all five of their children. Lasko remembered how her mom would work two or three jobs, usually taking the night shift, before returning home at 8 a.m. to take care of them. Her dad started at the bottom of the ladder but now runs the company today.

Together, not only did they send all five of their children through university, but they taught Lasko how to use her love, determination and ambition for her family to push through and reach her goals. Her parents and their work ethic are still a big part of her today.

Lasko is an Administrative Nurse II in charge of informing the NEIU community of the new immunization policy as well as collecting the forms. A NEIU alumni, she has been a nurse here for the past 10 years. However, it was a journey to get where she is today.

Before arriving at NEIU, Lasko worked at a corporation where she managed and coordinated the building of surgical centers. As a nurse, she was in the perfect position to point out and create new clinical procedures.

She worked with both administrators and physicians on implementing federal and state clinical procedures and programs, eventually maintaining more than 70 facilities. Wanting to have more patient contact, she came to work at NEIU.

Other than using her coordination skills to advertise the Student Health Center’s many free services, she loves talking with the students. From teaching students about nutrition at the food pantry to seeing them as patients, she enjoys seeing how different everyone is and how students influence her.

With a mission to help and support every student on campus, she is currently working on spreading the word about their many free services such as check-ups, medicine and women’s health.

As a woman, Lasko is proud of her caring and empathetic nature. For her, emotions and empathy are not weaknesses, but strengths that add fuel to the fire in her soul. Lasko’s passionate messages helps encourage female students.

“So as far as being a woman, do you have to work hard? Heck yeah. You know, does it feel like you might have to work harder than a man? Yes. But the thing is, you can. And that’s the best part about it – not letting that be a barrier. So think about the contribution that you want to make and make that impact,” says Lasko.