Grad Jorden Jackson: Missionary work

Published:

 

• Running Start student at Clark College; Union High School

• Call: Missionary work

Don't let Jorden Jackson's youth throw you. She's already an experienced world traveler.

The 18-year-old Union High School senior and Running Start student at Clark College has seen the developing world as few tourists do, through international volunteer service. She's worked construction sites in Belize and traveled through Peru. But her biggest adventures await.

After graduating from both high school and community college this month, she'll spend about three weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Tanzania. The experience promises to be a transformative one for Jackson, who has wanted to live in Africa and establish a school there since she was 12.

International volunteering is her passion, she says.

"I love to experience new cultures and volunteer," Jackson said. "When you're touring around, you're just doing it for your benefit."

Jackson, who's Mormon, will eventually go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints once she turns 19 in September. She doesn't know where the mission will take her, but she hopes it's overseas, particularly Zimbabwe or Peru.

"I'm always looking for opportunities to volunteer -- especially abroad," she said.

Once she's done with her mission, Jackson plans to stay in the United States for college. She's already been accepted to Brigham Young University. She hopes to follow that with graduate studies at the London School of Economics before returning to the developing world.

Her long-term plans call for helping young women attend school in poorer countries. She'd accomplish that by instituting micro-financing loans to pay for their uniforms and books, alleviating some of the financial barriers to receiving an education.