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On Island Profile: Abigail Hendricks

April 19, 2009 — With six children of her own to shepherd, as well as 46 seniors at George Simmons Terrace senior center, St. John resident Abigail Hendricks is one busy woman.
"I consider myself very active," Hendricks says in what just might be an understatement.
She's also outspoken. Hendricks often stands up to speak at community meetings, letting government officials and the community know just where she stands on issues.
"I've been asked to do politics," Hendricks says, adding that she turned down that particular offer.
Hendricks is the project director at the George Simmons Terrace senior center, a job she took over in 2006 from her mother, Edna Freeman, after she retired. Indeed, her mother is now among the seniors under Hendricks' wing, as is her grandmother, Alice O'Connor, and godmother, Gwen Douglas.
Hendricks has lots to say on the importance of keeping seniors active. In fact, after the interview with the Source she called back to add a reminder to seniors to "get out of the house and move around."
"Your body is going to seize up if you don't use it," Hendricks says. "And if you don't use your faculties, you're going to lose them."
She isn't going to let that happen to the seniors at the center. Ranging in age from 55 to 92, the seniors get out and about to slews of events thanks to Hendricks' effort. They often head out to attend performances at Pistarckle Theater, go to the annual Agriculture Fair and hit St. Thomas' array of stores.
Hendricks called back again to request that if anyone has any plant slips to spare, she'd like them for the garden the seniors expect to plant adjacent to the senior center.
When she's not keeping busy with the seniors, which she says occupies about 80 percent of her time, Hendricks helps young St. John women prepare for the annual July 4th Celebration princess and queen contests.
"It's my way of giving back to the community," she says.
She has lots of experience with similar contests since she was Miss St. John in 1980.
Now 46, Henricks was born on St. Thomas to a St. John mother and St. Thomas father. He was Baltimore Orioles baseball player and coach Elrod Hendricks, who died in 2005.
She attended school on both islands, spending time at the St. Thomas Montessori School, James Madison Elementary School on St. Thomas and Julius E. Sprauve School on St. John. She graduated from Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas.
Hendricks went to work as an emergency medical technician, ending that career to have her children. They are Hailey Kagan, 23; Kaleel Kagan, 22; Taj-Mahal Kagan, 21; Naomi Kagan, 20; Namyamka Kagan, 18; and Nailah Kagan, 17.
After the six were born, she spent a brief stint with the U.S. Postal Service before heading to Caneel Bay Resort. When she left, she was head of the housekeeping department.
Although Hendricks has lots to talk about, she somehow shifts the topic around to her beloved seniors.
"They learn from me and I learn from them," she says.
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April 19, 2009 -- With six children of her own to shepherd, as well as 46 seniors at George Simmons Terrace senior center, St. John resident Abigail Hendricks is one busy woman.
"I consider myself very active," Hendricks says in what just might be an understatement.
She's also outspoken. Hendricks often stands up to speak at community meetings, letting government officials and the community know just where she stands on issues.
"I've been asked to do politics," Hendricks says, adding that she turned down that particular offer.
Hendricks is the project director at the George Simmons Terrace senior center, a job she took over in 2006 from her mother, Edna Freeman, after she retired. Indeed, her mother is now among the seniors under Hendricks' wing, as is her grandmother, Alice O'Connor, and godmother, Gwen Douglas.
Hendricks has lots to say on the importance of keeping seniors active. In fact, after the interview with the Source she called back to add a reminder to seniors to "get out of the house and move around."
"Your body is going to seize up if you don't use it," Hendricks says. "And if you don't use your faculties, you're going to lose them."
She isn't going to let that happen to the seniors at the center. Ranging in age from 55 to 92, the seniors get out and about to slews of events thanks to Hendricks' effort. They often head out to attend performances at Pistarckle Theater, go to the annual Agriculture Fair and hit St. Thomas' array of stores.
Hendricks called back again to request that if anyone has any plant slips to spare, she'd like them for the garden the seniors expect to plant adjacent to the senior center.
When she's not keeping busy with the seniors, which she says occupies about 80 percent of her time, Hendricks helps young St. John women prepare for the annual July 4th Celebration princess and queen contests.
"It's my way of giving back to the community," she says.
She has lots of experience with similar contests since she was Miss St. John in 1980.
Now 46, Henricks was born on St. Thomas to a St. John mother and St. Thomas father. He was Baltimore Orioles baseball player and coach Elrod Hendricks, who died in 2005.
She attended school on both islands, spending time at the St. Thomas Montessori School, James Madison Elementary School on St. Thomas and Julius E. Sprauve School on St. John. She graduated from Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas.
Hendricks went to work as an emergency medical technician, ending that career to have her children. They are Hailey Kagan, 23; Kaleel Kagan, 22; Taj-Mahal Kagan, 21; Naomi Kagan, 20; Namyamka Kagan, 18; and Nailah Kagan, 17.
After the six were born, she spent a brief stint with the U.S. Postal Service before heading to Caneel Bay Resort. When she left, she was head of the housekeeping department.
Although Hendricks has lots to talk about, she somehow shifts the topic around to her beloved seniors.
"They learn from me and I learn from them," she says.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.