Mentor Memories

woman in black hijab headscarf walking on field

From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – Recently, amid pandemic and all things grim, I picked up the local newspaper and noticed an obituary for a 90-year-old woman. The obituary was for my first 4-H leader, Henny Kraan. Reading it I was instantly taken back to my 12-year-old self trying to figure out who I was in the world  – as most are at that age – and joining my first club with a lot of people I didn’t know. I was nervous and maybe a little shy.  And while I have no sweeping, epic, heart warming words from Henny to stitch on a pillow, what I do have is a tangible memory of how she made me feel. Her warmth, her confidence in me that I could do something and – when I succeeded – her smile; when I fell on my face – her equally supportive smile.

Henny gave me a sense that I could do anything. I remember one time that there was to be a night of presentations. The group came up with the idea, which I don’t remember, that I was to be in an old suit and top hat and performing at the microphone. This was probably my first foray into public speaking and Henny wrapped her confidence around me and let me try. Equally when the club was sewing – she looked at my offering and reminded me that…  I was good at public speaking.

Henny is a small part of what makes up my particular toolbox of talents today and I am very grateful for that.  Take some time away from all things COVID-19 this weekend and think about who shaped your current view on life – think about the role models – there will be countless ones.  So many people touch our lives and right at this moment we have a little time to remember them with gratitude.

Photo by Samuel Silitonga on

One thought on “Mentor Memories

  1. Thanks for your kind words Teresa. Mom enjoyed the 4-H meetings along with so many other activities to help so many grow and learn to their own potentials. Thanks for sharing your fond memories of mom.
    Stephen Kraan
    2nd youngest


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