May 20, 2014

Jenna Dyksen wants to make a difference in this world, to literally give a voice to those who have all but lost theirs.

The Hawthorne senior is planning to study speech pathology when she enrolls in the fall at Calvin College, a Christian school with a 400-acre campus in Grand Rapids, Mich. Her goal is to work with people whose speech has been affected by a stroke.

Visiting recently with a local speech pathologist and observing how she worked with a patient only strengthened her resolve to pursue this path.

“The patient had a stroke and she had been working with him for a couple of months, so he was getting better,” Dyksen said. “You could see the progress, but you could also hear a couple of things here and there that weren’t quite right.”

Dyksen’s gentle, caring nature, which she says is shaped in large part by her religious beliefs, belies a fierce warrior who doesn’t like to lose on the track.

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