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Amarillo Collegiate Academy (formerly Vista Academy of Amarillo) Class of 2014

Jenny Vanderford lives with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as “brittle bone disease.” She is using her experience as motivation to make a positive impact and follow her dreams. Now a radiologic technologist and with an associate’s degree from Amarillo College, Vanderford is proud to say that she is the first of her family to graduate college. She is already considering returning to school to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Jenny Vanderford walks with her fellow graduating classmates.

Her achievements did not come easily and she admits that hospital clinicals were difficult. “I knew my end goal, I knew that if I kept going, it was going to be worth it, so I kept pressing on,” says Vanderford. “I learned to be very goal-oriented and that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.”

Vanderford says that the teaching staff at Vista Academy of Amarillo helped her to stay positive and to not get down or discouraged. This positivity is something that Vanderford hopes to carry over into her own professional life knowing that she’ll be interacting with patients who are dealing with medical issues of their own. “I have the opportunity to be one of the only nice faces people might see in a day,” she says. “You never know what people are going through, so I make it a point to be as kind as possible to everyone because it could make a huge difference in their day.”

When asked if she has any advice for soon-to-be graduates, she encourages people to follow their dreams and be patient with themselves. “Do what you’re passionate about,” says Vanderford. “If you don’t know right away what you want to do, don’t worry. You’ll figure it out.”


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