August 24, 2022: Kickoff at West Des Moines City Hall


September 14, 2022: Jordan House Museum

Scholars had a tour of the museum and learned about the life of James Jordan, the inspiration behind the Scholars.


October 5, 2022: Valley Junction

Scholars visited the offices of Historic Valley Junction Foundation & Bozz Prints and learned about entrepreneurship and owning a small business.

October 26. 2022: State Historical Building

November 30: World Food Prize

Scholars had an amazing tour of the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, lead by Kate Levasseur, Program Manager for the Archives. Ms. Levasseur tied in the history of farming and food security with Mr. Jordan’s story as a leader in agriculture.

December 7, 2022: Polk County Supervisors

James Jordan served two terms as a Polk County Supervisor, and during his time created what eventually was known as the County Poor Farm. “Poor Farms” were county or town-run residences where paupers (mainly elderly and disabled people) were supported at public expense. They were common in the United States beginning in the middle of the 1800s, and declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935. The Scholars learned about this history of public service from the Polk County Supervisors as well as what are the challenges facing residents today.

January 25, 2023: Iowa Legislature

James Jordan served in the Iowa Legislature during some of the most impactful times in early statehood. Once again Representative Ruth Ann Gaines arranged a session along with other legislators so the Scholars could speak about the reality of governance in today’s atmosphere.