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Positive attiutude and the love of family help motivate Royals Scholar toward goals

“I try to make everyday the best it can be,” says Jordan Shiao, a recent graduate of Bonner Springs High School and Royals Charities Scholar.  “I learned at a young age to be positive in any situation,” she says.

Throughout her life, it would have been easy to note the negative parts of life.  Jordan’s mother was diagnosed with cancer during her early high school years, requiring Jordan to step up and help take care of her siblings.  By taking on the role of caretaker, she learned independence from an early age, a skill that will be an asset as she moves to Lawrence, Kansas in the fall.  Since the cancer diagnosis and subsequent remission, her mother has  remarried, adding more siblings to their family.  She reflects on the fun they have together through family dinners and card games. “I feel blessed to have my family,” she says.

Stepping up to serve as a leader has continued as Jordan also took on a leadership role among the Bonner Springs Junior Leaders as they developed and executed their 20/20 Olympics project in 2016.  She was nominated by her peers to lead the “Get Your Mind Right” project, focusing on mental health and ways that students could reduce stress.  The project turned out to be a week of activities, culminating to the final home basketball game of the season.  Funds collected during the week from raffle prizes were donated to Ronald McDonald House to support families dealing with the stress of having a child with a long-term illness.

Jordan learned about the University of Kansas after moving from Colorado to Kansas in the second grade and always knew she would eventually be a Jayhawk.  Her first career goal was to work as a pharmacist based on her grades in chemistry.  As she continued to help take care of her family, Jordan began considering nursing as an option.  Jordan has already completed her CNA license, taking some experience in the field with her on the road to becoming a nurse.

As she transitions to life as a college freshman, Jordan recognizes the challenges that will come with being away from her family, but also looks forward to exploring sorority life and meeting her roommate.  Tackling new experiences is something that Jordan is familiar with.  Jordan says she was unfamiliar with the 20/20 Leadership program until teachers recommended she participate.  It wasn’t until she attended orientation in July 2015 that she realized how much she would learn from the program. “Without 20/20 Leadership, I would not have a resume or business cards and I know that I am more well off moving forward because of the program,” she says.

The KC Royals scholarship is made possible by a generous donation from the Royals Charities.  Participants in 20/20 Leadership are eligible to apply for the scholarship.