Though Jordan Shewmaker grew up in Perryville, he never imagined becoming a key part of the Centre College community.
Shewmaker, 20, is a junior majoring in government. Though he has always worked hard, largely due to the example set by his late great-grandmother Imogene Reynolds, he never imagined being accepted to Centre College let alone becoming deeply involved in local, state and even national politics.
Not only is Shewmaker a major fixture on campus as a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and former president of the Centre College Democrats chapter, he has gained plenty of political opportunities throughout Boyle County and even in Frankfort.
Shewmaker currently serves as a member of the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee, recently completed an internship with the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is a member of the “Town and Gown” committee that works to increase relations between members of the Centre and Danville communities.
Jennifer Kirchner, director of the CVB and a former Centre College employee, has worked with Shewmaker in numerous capacities since he graduated from Boyle County High School in 2010.
“Jordan is wise beyond his years,” Kirchner said. “He is smart, insightful and hard working. Jordan has a very clear vision of where he is headed in life, and I think that is rare for many young people today. I admire Jordan’s tenacity to be involved and work toward the change he wants to see in the world.”
Shewmaker acknowledges that he prefers listening to others rather than talking about himself.
“I surround myself with people who tell me what I need to hear rather than what I want to hear,” he said.
His great-grandmother passed away in June, but the lessons she taught him remain. Reynolds was an active member of the Democratic party and “treated everyone the same.” She was a key supporter of former Gov. Martha Layne Collins.
“I learned to always take my work seriously, but not to take myself too seriously,” Shewmaker said.
When he’s not busy with his many responsibilities including studying for demanding courses such as Cold War America, Shewmaker enjoys spending time with friends or taking a solo trip outdoors.
“I love to camp, fish and hunt,” he said. “It’s really spiritual for me. The things man has accomplished are excellent, but the beauty of God’s creations just amazes me.”
Shewmaker, the son of John and Cortney Shewmaker, has been exposed to so many different aspects of government and economic development that he expects to have a hard time choosing an exact career. But, graduate or law school is likely a part of his future.
“I’m just a kid from Perryville who got a shot, and I don’t take that for granted,” he said.