There’s No Stopping Jaxyn

Jaxyn grins for a photo outdoors with her curly brown hair blowing in the wind.

Jaxyn smiles for a photo outside her home in Columbia, Mo.

Starting high school can be a daunting task for anyone.  Looking back, Jaxyn remembers trying to fit in to impress others but having some difficulty building friendships with peers.

She recalls her time at Rock Bridge High School during her freshman year, ”Some of the challenges I had to overcome in high school (were) I tried to seem more edgy, and I changed my personality to be more nice.  But through high school, I realized that who cares about impressing people, just be true to yourself.”

Jaxyn spent time joking with teachers and helping out the staff to stock vending machines, wipe down tables, fill the silverware containers, or whatever was needed at that moment. She was especially fond of her time with the paraprofessionals in the DI room, a classroom for students diagnosed with autism.

Through every hurdle and challenge, she gained strength and encouragement from a strong support system including parents, teachers and her Support Coordinator Susan.

After a recent group Zoom, her bond with Susan was apparent right away.

She said, “I have really loved working with Susan. I remember the first time I saw her I drew some stines for her, those are the characters I made up when I was 12. She sent me stuff for Cedar Creek, which I did my eighth grade year, and that was fun riding the horses. I love when she comes to visit because she is so funny and so much fun. She sent me things for Alive in Christ Christmas and Easter parties where I got free food and games, and I loved those.”

Even with her amazing support system, ultimately, it’s Jaxyn who takes the steps to succeed − and she is doing just that.

Jaxyn will graduate with her Associate degree from Moberly Area Community College (MACC) on May 15, 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. She will then head to Mizzou to continue her educational journey in the English program. Her goal is to become a copy editor in the travel and entertainment industry and dreams of a career working with an amusement park, like Universal Studios.

“It was difficult transferring to MACC (from high school). But, I think MACC has been the best 2 years of my life education wise,” said Jaxyn.

She has overcome so many struggles to get to where she is today, and Susan couldn’t be more proud.

“She is confident in her own skin now,” says Susan. “Jaxyn has overcome a lot of hurdles, she rode paratransit, rode to and from school and around the community. That was something that made her very anxious. She was nervous about going to MACC and that was a huge success. And I know she’ll do great at Mizzou.”

Her mom, Karen, sees how hard she is working. She said, “I am most proud of how she has maintained her 4.0. The way she is able to communicate and get help with her professors. She’s doing well at reading emails and text, and getting better (at communicating).”

Her mom, Lisa, said, “I love the way that once she gets something, she can take it and run with it. It’s the unknown. But once she gets it, there’s no stopping her.”

Jaxyn hopes to inspire others who face similar challenges, and wants to them to know, “You have a lot more strength than you realize. The hardest part is the scariness of what it will be beforehand, but once you get started it will not be as bad.”