By Tara Hutchison
The face of the ty
pical 19-year-old-girl is not the same face as Jordan Liley. Liley is a student at Laramie County Community College majoring in health sciences.
Raised in the rural Wyoming town of Burns, Liley grew up with her parents, an older half-brother and two adopted sisters. She said she enjoys the outdoors and camping. She began her sports involvement early in life and continued playing basketball and track and field throughout high school.
Liley was a center for her basketball team and competed in every track event aside from distance, long-jump and the 100-meter dash.
In 2012, she had an accident while high-jumping at practice that caused her to limit the events that she could participate in. After landing wrong on her neck, Liley said that she laid on the mat for around 15-20 minutes until she was able to get up. She was not taken to a medical facility for X-rays, but she sat out and iced her neck. That began her three-year journey of finding out why she was having the pain.
Pain did not stop Liley from participating in sports, though. She continued to participate in the 400-meter, shot-put, discus, 300-meter hurdles, triple-jump and high-jump until the pain got to be too much.
It wasn’t until she saw a chiropractor in 2017 that she learned she had fractured her C7 vertebrae and spinus process. “The spinus process cannot be fixed. It could only be removed,” Liley said.
As a woman who could not be stopped, or slowed down, in high school, nothing changed when she started attending LCCC. Liley is an active member in the Student Government Association, participates on the rodeo team and is a full-time student.
Josh Petersen, an advisor for SGA, said, “Jordan takes an active role in SGA. She started in fall 2016, and in spring 2017 ran and was elected as secretary. She is at each executive meeting and at every senate meeting. Jordan has worked to develop relationships across SGA and is always willing to help when we ask for volunteers.”
Liley began her education with a focus in molecular biology, but due to the length of school and the locations that she would have available to her, she switched to Health Sciences. She hopes to either go on to become an emergency room nurse or to teach health in high school.
As a member of the LCCC Rodeo Team, she participates in barrel racing, but she said she also enjoys roping and working cows outside of school. At the college rodeo in April hosted at Eastern Wyoming College, she ran the barrel pattern. Her horse was spooked and ducked out from underneath her at the end of the run, landing her on her shoulders. While she still suffers from pain from her previous injury, it doesn’t prevent her from continuing to do the things that she loves to do, including breaking colts.
“I still go compete in rodeos, I’m secretary of SGA and I work at Magic City with people with mental disabilities. I’ll help someone else before I’ll help myself. If I get bucked off, or I land wrong, it could worsen the damage, but I just don’t think about it,” Liley said.