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Volunteering has always been a central part of Jordan Adams’ life. From a young age, Jordan understood the importance of giving back to her community and how small actions can make a big impact.

Jordan spent many hours volunteering at a therapeutic ranch and, most recently, her local hospital. The many hours that she devotes each week to volunteering is possible because of her online classes at Arkansas Virtual Academy (ARVA).

“[Online learning has] made it easy to have time to do everything I want to do,” Jordan said. She added that online learning allows her to fit her volunteer hours around her school schedule.

In her first volunteer job at Runnin’ WJ Ranch, Jordan helped kids who have special needs. The therapeutic riding facility focuses on teaching horse riding skills to children with physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disabilities. The riding instructors work to develop independent skills through riding which the children will be able to carry over into their daily lives. The ranch also focuses on creating a bond between the children and the volunteers who assist with rides. In Jordan’s primary role as a sidewalker, she has a direct connection with the children who visit the riding facility.

“I make sure the child has a safe ride. I try to keep them responsive and alert, and just make sure they are comfortable and having fun,” Jordan said.

This year, Jordan began volunteering at Wadley Regional Hospital as a junior volunteer.  She has accumulated more than 100 volunteer hours in her time there. Some of her main duties include discharging patients, pushing the courtesy cart and assisting patients around the hospital. She also gets to deliver baby spoons after a birth, which she says is her favorite part of the job.

Volunteering is something more than giving back to the community for Jordan. Her experience volunteering represents what she is passionate about. With dreams of entering the medical field, both her sidewalking position and her volunteer work at the hospital are a part of Jordan’s future.

She has earned the Prudential Points of Light President’s Volunteer Service Award three years in a row. The award is given in recognition and appreciation for her commitment to volunteering. Points of Light’s mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. The organization is dedicated to volunteer service and helping people in more than 250 cities worldwide. The President’s Volunteer Service Award is an honor which recognizes those who are an example to others and spreads the important message to act in their communities. Jordan has received signed awards from both President Obama and President Trump for her service.

Jordan’s mom, Penny hopes that volunteering is something Jordan will always keep as a priority in her life. “I want her to always look for ways to help others,” Penny said. “We, alone, can’t do everything, but we can each do something to help better our communities.”

Jordan hopes that her actions are making a difference each day. In her interactions with the children at Runnin’ WJ Ranch and with patients at the hospital, she hopes she is making someone else’s day a little bit better. “Whether that be smiling and greeting someone who had a not so good day at the hospital or helping a kid become more comfortable and happy with riding,” she said.

For anyone considering volunteering their time, Jordan encourages them to go for it. She says it’s a great feeling to be able to help others and everyone should do some sort of volunteer work. “I can’t think of a more gratifying and beautiful way to spend your time,” she said.

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