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October 24, 2022

JCCC Honors Program Alum says, “I can always do more and strive to be better.”

Sidney Henkensiefken was an honors student in high school. She was active in student leadership and school activities. But when she started at JCCC, she wasn’t sure where she’d fit in.

She’d heard the Honors Lounge was a good place to hang out and meet like-minded students. So one day she took a chance. “When I opened that door,” says Sidney, “I had no idea how it would impact my life. I walked through the door and learned how to be part of something bigger than myself.”

Cultivate in-demand soft skills in JCCC’s small-class environment

Sidney’s parents made her an offer she couldn’t refuse: Go to community college the first two years and they’d pay for the last two years of her bachelor’s degree.

Sidney says of JCCC, “The smaller class sizes and overall smaller environment allowed me to make friends more easily. It also gave me opportunities to be involved at a higher level than a four-year school would have during those first two years.”

She joined the Honors Program, eventually serving as president of the Honors Student Association and actively working to make the organization better for other students. She says one of the biggest benefits of Honors was the “soft skills” she learned through making presentations, problem-solving and communications. She believes those skills – as well as already having completed a degree – gave her an advantage over other applicants to land her internship, and eventually a job, with the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City.

College paid for: check. Associate degree: check. Job accepted: check.

“I think getting an associate degree at JCCC set me apart from other job applicants,” Sidney says. “I already had a degree, as well as diverse experiences and leadership roles, when I applied for the internship.”

"When I opened that door, I had no idea the impact it would have on my life." - Alumni Sidney Henkensiefken

She believes another advantage of going to JCCC out of high school was the ability to get scholarships that generally aren’t available at four-year colleges. In Sidney’s case, her tuition and books were completely paid for during her two years at the College.

She says the motto she lives by – “I can always do more and strive to do better” – was learned through the Honors Program at JCCC.

Her career goal is to live out that motto, serving people through the Federal Reserve Bank’s resources and products that help the economy function.

As she graduates from the University of Kansas with a major in finance and business analytics and minor in economics, she looks forward to walking through the next door in her life to begin her career.

Become a JCCC Honors student

Enhance your educational experience at JCCC by joining the Honors Program. Visit COM 201, call 913-469-2434 or email