Jayda Wichman: leader in the making

By: 
CHARLIE DENISON
Reporter

Jayda enjoys being a part of the Roy-Winifred Outlaw volleyball team.

Fresh off finishing her sophomore year of high school in Winifred, Jayda Wichman is ready for a new challenge, and I’m not talking about junior year.

She has a lot to do before then.

For example, Jayda was selected to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Camp in Bozeman this summer, and also received a scholarship from Central Montana Medical Center to take part in the MedStart Summer Camp.

“I’ve always wanted to do something in the medical field,” Jayda said. “I look forward to gaining this experience and learning what I can do.”

Jayda said she knows she has a lot to learn, which is another reason she’s so excited about this camp. She’s thought about a career as a nurse or therapist and she hopes to learn as much as possible about these options so she can help others the best way she sees fit..

Because one thing Jayda does know is she wants to help. All her life she’s been helped and much of it she’s helped others, like her disabled sister, Hayleigh.

 “I’ve been helping her and working with her for a long time,” she said. “Having this experience, having this empathy and compassion, I feel I’d be good at nursing, at taking care of people.”

Jayda added that she could also see working at a school for the deaf and blind, as she’d taken her sister there once and said it was a good experience.

MedStart will be a great opportunity and will help point her in the right direction. The same goes for leadership camp.

Although eager to learn more about what it means to be a leader, Jayda already has some ideas of her own, and she works each day to try and practice what she preaches.

“In my eyes, being a leader means being respectful, helping when needed and always being able to step up when something needs done,” she said. “I feel like I’m a leader because I try to help everyone get things done and I can work well with other people. I have experience with many people in my life, so working with others has never been difficult.”

Jayda doesn’t even have to leave the house to have experience with many people, as she is one of 17 children residing at the Wichman household. When she was three days old, she was given up for foster care. At the age of two, she was adopted, and she’s very grateful, as she has excelled at home, in school, band, 4-H, FFA and even on the volleyball court. She credits much of this to parents Gordon and Mary Wichman.

“They are really cool, great people,” Jayda said. “They have done a lot to help kids and have really taken people under their wing. I’ve learned a lot from them.”

Gordon, Mary and her siblings are kind, accepting and loving, Jayda said, which are all qualities she tries to embody wherever she goes.

And, for a young girl in a small town, she’s been able to go a lot of places, from Washington D.C. for school to Las Vegas for a Garth Brooks concert.

Whether attending a concert or performing, music is a big part of Jayda’s life. She plays the flute and she also sings. Just recently, she sang “Long Time Traveller” by The Wailin’ Jennys with a small group at Winifred graduation.

“I could see pursuing more music in the future,” she said. “There is a talent show during one of my camps. I’m going to do a little duet.”

All future music endeavors, Jayda added, are thanks to her old music teacher, Mrs. Rogers, who passed away suddenly last year.

“Many of us high school students that had her all throughout elementary, middle school, and some of high school love to keep her memory and her love for music alive by playing music,” Jayda said. “It means a lot to me and I'd like to think I'm making her proud. It's very different without her, but we all stayed in band/choir to keep the music program alive and keep her memory alive. I love music because she taught me everything I know about it, and now that she's gone, it's even more important.” 

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