A personal passion Jorden Henderson discovered while participating in the Civic Honors program at JCCC led her to North Dakota State University this fall to pursue a degree in equine science with a minor in therapeutic horsemanship.
“I participated in the Civic Honors program at JCCC and that is how I was introduced to the equine science world,” said Henderson, who completed community service hours at Midnight Farm, a therapeutic horse-riding center in Baldwin.
“I definitely loved horses when I was a little girl. I always wanted to ride, but never had the opportunity. I worked with children and adults, but I also wanted to transition to working with the horses. I absolutely loved it. It is a huge passion of mine.”
Henderson explained that she has always been one of those people who like helping others.
“I participated in a lot of clubs and volunteering even when I was a child,” she said. “So it was a natural thing to find that Civic Honors program and really get involved with it and do something outside of my school work. “
While a student at Olathe North High School, Henderson studied in the 21st Century Geoscience program and graduated from that program with a highly proficient with honors endorsement, which is the highest level a student can achieve. She ranked 15th in her high school graduating class with a 4.48 grade-point average.
“Some would say I’m an overachiever, too,” Henderson chuckled. “I definitely went above and beyond, but I enjoy getting involved and learning new things.”
“These experiences were really enlightening,” she said. “It was a huge leadership opportunity to be on the Student Senate executive board, work with all the senators and do all the activities that we did. On the sustainability committee, I was involved with Galileo’s Pavilion, the new partially student-funded environmentally friendly building on campus. I had a lot of fun.”
Henderson said she got involved at JCCC to meet new people.
“I wanted to do something that was more than just taking classes,” she said. “I wanted to take advantage of some of all that is offered at JCCC. I didn’t want to just visit campus. I wanted to be part of it.”
Henderson said her first college experiences might have been different if she started at a four-year university.
“The friends that I have that went on to other universities like the University of Kansas certainly didn’t get as involved as I did at JCCC,” she noted. “I think as a result they didn’t have had as much fun because they spent a lot of time in their dorms. On the other hand, I got to go home, get involved with these clubs and meet amazing people. I don’t think they really got that opportunity."
Henderson encourages others to attend JCCC for all the benefits the campus provides.“The quality of education at JCCC, if it doesn’t exceed it, it at least matches university level,” she said. “The teachers are fantastic.”