Meet the Mentors: Shane & Joanna Wasden

March 8, 2024  •  Author: marketing

“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” – Aristotle.

Habits in Youth

By definition, a habit is a behavior a person engages in frequently, sometimes without conscious thought. It extends beyond morning tooth brushing, permeating nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Why should we reflect on our habits? English poet John Dryden once said:

“First, we make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

In essence, our small actions, or habits, become the compass guiding who we become. Recognizing this, Shane and Joanna Wasden have designed various activities to demonstrate to our students that they can shape their destinies. Hailing from Rexburg, Idaho, the Wasdens arrived in the Czech Republic prepared to inspire our students.

Anything is possible

Youth is widely regarded as a prime season for decision-making. It’s no surprise that even Aristotle encouraged young people to cultivate good habits during this period. In reality, a habit, in itself, isn’t inherently good or bad; its value lies in the outcome, whether it propels us forward or not.

Joanna and Shane view youth as a symbol of hope. They firmly believe that by effectively teaching this generation of young adults, they will not only succeed in the future but also positively impact the world. The Wasdens even provide a recipe for success:

“We believe that by honoring our commitments, working hard, educating our children, and being good friends, anything is possible.”

Marcos, a student from Brazil, found inspiration in how the Wasdens connected with him: “Talking to Shane and Joanna was awesome. They could relate to my stories and truly put themselves in my shoes. I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet them and for all the insights and teachings they shared with me.”

Family and business

Shane holds an associate’s degree from Ricks College, a Bachelor’s degree from BYU, a Master’s degree from Syracuse University, and a Doctorate from the University of Idaho. Currently serving as the Business Management Department Chair at BYU-Idaho, he teaches entrepreneurship and small business management courses.

Joanna earned an associate’s degree from Ricks College and a Bachelor’s degree from BYU in Family Science and Human Development. She manages two rental investment properties with her husband and has been a project manager for three construction projects.

Despite their diverse professional backgrounds, their shared passion lies in their family. They cherish weekly date nights, enjoy family skiing outings, and find joy in helping others reach their goals. “We truly enjoy spending time with our children, supporting them in their various activities, and witnessing their growth and learning. Traveling together broadens our horizons,” they express. Indeed, the Wasdens have explored 41 U.S. states and 52 countries worldwide. Their experiences as parents motivated them to join our campus, imparting valuable lessons to these special young adults on achieving goals and developing essential skills.

Teaching by example

“It’s been a pleasure to meet Shane & Joanna. We are very grateful and honored to have them at Cumorah Academy. Their well-prepared lessons have had a profound impact on students, and we look forward to applying what we’ve learned from them after the semester ends,” says Nataniel, a student from Romania, capturing the essence of having the Wasdens as mentors.

Their leadership and family experiences provide a unique perspective on achieving success in both business and family.

Matheus, a student from Brazil, felt the couple cared about him and his ambitions: “Their guidance was both encouraging and thought-provoking, leaving me inspired to pursue my ambitions with renewed vigor.”

Habits, beliefs, and destiny

To achieve their goals, Shane and Joanna Wasden had to exercise discipline and develop habits that would ultimately lead them to success. With this in mind, Cumorah Academy has been crafted as a place where students can immerse themselves in the learning process.

Our program aims to inspire students to apply what they have learned, guiding them to set goals and develop habits and actions that lead to success. However, our habits have a broader impact than we realize. President David O. McKay keenly observed:

“We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny.”

Cumorah Academy is reshaping the thoughts of our students, thereby influencing their destinies. What they learn in class is transforming their thoughts, actions, habits, and characters.

We are eternally grateful to Joanna and Shane for coming to our campus and inspiring our students to change and work hard. Ultimately, the lingering question is: What destiny are your habits guiding you towards?

Watch their their testimony below:

Written by Fernando L. Ferreira Jr. Supports by Delton Sambo.

Supervision: Kamila Umberto Fullmer.