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Feb. 9, 2018
Northwest Missouri State University’s newest student regent, Janay Orange, attributes her drive, passion and success to her mother who passed away when she was young.
Gov. Eric Greitens appointed Orange, a senior public relations major with a minor in criminal justice from Kansas City, Missouri, in December as the student representative to Northwest’s Board of Regents. Her term is set to expire Dec 31, 2019.
Additionally, Orange is active with the Alliance of Black Allegiance, which participates in community service projects and works to expand diversity on campus. She is active with the Pay it Forward Food Pantry project, the Northwest Dance Company and works with the University Police Department as a student security officer.
“One of the major reasons I am so involved at Northwest and going to college is because of my mother,” Orange said. “She was my leading role model and her death gave me fire. After she passed away, I knew I had to do this for her. I will be the first person of my siblings to graduate.”
In addition to her involvement in student organizations, she works closely with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is passionate about the direction of the University and being part of its history.
“We are at the starting line for making our ideas happen,” Orange said “Bringing Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Juanita Simmons on has been a great asset to Northwest.”
After graduating from Northwest, Orange plans to work as a probation officer or counselor for juvenile delinquents. She wants to mentor kids who may be shy or lack confidence and help them find a purpose.
“A lot of my family has worked in corrections, including my mom, aunt and grandmother,” she said. “Being from Leavenworth, Kansas, there are many kids who may not know how to take opportunities, and there are many paths they can take. I want to show them the same opportunities that I received.”
By participating in student organizations, Orange has learned to overcome obstacles, communicate with different groups of people and achieve success.
Orange, much like her mother, likes to stay busy and is driven to succeed. As a freshman, however, she struggled to get involved on campus.
“My first semester, I stayed in my dorm room,” she said. “The reason I got involved was because some members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority asked me to be part of the Miss Black and Gold Pageant that is sponsored by the Rho Theta chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. It was my gateway to everything.”
Orange encourages students to get involved in campus organizations. With more than 150 student organizations, Northwest offers opportunities for students to be career-ready when they graduate.
“The campus has a lot to offer,” she said. “There is always something going on and organizations to help broaden your horizon. You may not know your niche now, but getting involved will help you figure out what you want to do.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468