CAMP VERDE – Kendra Chadborn was diagnosed with a reading disability at a young age.
But her family, friends, teachers and volunteers helped her to work hard, overcome and persevere.
Indeed, Kendra graduated from Camp Verde High School in 2004 in the top of her class, and married Colby Lane—her high school sweetheart—the very next day.
Uncertain of what career she wanted or which degree to pursue, Kendra enrolled in general education courses at Yavapai College while she raised her first-born son, Eli.
Over the next several years, Kendra’s YC instructors shined a light on avenues of interest she had never considered before.
“My history professor, Dr. Amy Stein, is an amazing teacher who taught me conceptual thinking,” Kendra said. “Her teaching style gave me a passion for history, something I didn’t have prior to taking her class. I’m now debating on minoring in history.”
Dr. Mike Davis, the Director of the Paralegal and Administration of Justice programs at YC, also guided Kendra into the world of advocacy.
“While attending the Juvenile Court Institute internship program, I discovered that my passion for children and my love of law could be combined,” she said. “After observing Judge Anna Young in court—talking to her about how much she loves and enjoys her job, helping and being a part of the children’s lives—I decided to become a volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children.”
Kendra’s personal empowerment network—from her family and friends to Pastor Rick Carling and the congregation of the Camp Verde Community Church — sharpened her determination to succeed.
“By attending Yavapai College, I stayed near my support system, worked, furthered my education and completed my associate’s degree,” Kendra said. “Moving at my own pace allowed me to keep a high grade point average, continue as a volunteer within my community, and raise two kids.
Yavapai College lightened my financial burden and made what seemed impossible, possible.”
Kendra’s high marks earned her an invitation to join Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year schools and academic programs.
She was named to the All-Arizona Academic Team, qualifying her for full tuition scholarships to continue her studies at any Arizona state university.
“This blessing has given me the ability to obtain my bachelor’s degree in a field that I want to study, not limiting me to a degree in a field that I could afford to study,” said Kendra.
In May, Kendra graduated YC with an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies.
She will go on to attend NAU’s extended online campus to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities.
YC instructor Mike Davis said that Kendra “embodies the essence of the mission of Yavapai College. Because of the flexibility that we offer, Kendra, a mother who works full-time, raises her kids and helps with elderly grandparents, is able to advance her education. And, oh by the way, she does it with nothing less than excellence. I hope she can inspire others.”
“The ability to attend Yavapai College—to interact with the students, instructors, and employees—has given me that leg up, paving my path to success.” Kendra said.
Her advice to others unsure about their future?
“It is better to give than to receive; obey the golden rule; and be kind, rewind. That last one is a little outdated, but the rest is good advice to live by. Most importantly, believe in yourself and act now.”