Jennifer Baker Hornick is not one to sit idle, and no one ever told her that experience comes with age.
Days after graduating from Missouri State University, the psychology major and crime and society minor started her own business, 417 Billing LLC.
The month before earning her master’s degree in criminology from MSU, Hornick began working for Touchstone Helping Families, where she serves as director of operations. She also is operations director for Touchstone Counseling LLC.
As if she wasn’t spinning enough plates, Hornick last year added partner of wellness boutique Garden of Healing to her growing résumé.
And she’s only 28 years old.
For such endeavors, she’s had a good role model – her mother and boss at the Touchstone companies in Ozark. Cindy Baker, Ed.D., owns the private practice agency that through multiple entities addresses the mental and emotional well-being of children, adolescents, adults, couples and families, in part, by collaborating with other professionals and community partners such as schools, state agencies, attorneys and courts.
Hornick makes time for civic work, another trait she says her mother instilled in her.
“I (was taught) at a young age to understand that a community thrives when it has members who take an active part in helping and giving freely of their time,” says Hornick, who has volunteered for Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Neighbors Helping Neighbors and Freedom’s Rest, Christian County’s family crisis center.
Her handiwork is evident in Touchstone Counseling’s Tree of Hope, a toy drive she started for children seeking shelter at Freedom’s Rest during the holidays. In 2010, more than 1,000 presents were collected through the program, and this year, Tree of Hope will expand to include families encountering financial strains as well as those victims of physical abuse. She also has participated in another Freedom’s Rest fundraiser, Glitter, Gowns & Gems, to sell donated prom dresses to high school girls for $25 to $35.
Hornick is a member of the Ozark Rotary club, and this year will volunteer for the Don’t Meth with Us program that teaches fifth-graders the effects of methamphetamine abuse and provides the students with community contacts should they learn of family members or friends addicted to meth.
In her day job, Hornick counsels families and parents as a qualified civil mediator and court-approved parent coordinator. She also mediates between girls in juvenile custody and their mothers through Touchstone’s state-granted pilot program called Girl Talk.
“My passion in life is to help others, who are oftentimes less fortunate than I am, to see themselves as I see them – capable, strong, intelligent and worthy,” she says. “It is very important to encourage others to succeed in life.”Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.