Jordan Jones, a second year student at Averett University, is a National Bonner Leader active in regional social justice issues pertaining to education access. Overcoming the achievement gap as a first-generation student of color, Jordan connects with K-12 students to shepherd the path for equitable access to higher education. Collaborating with Noblis (a non-profit strategy organization focusing on creative solutions) and Danville, VA Public Schools, Jordan has made a higher education more tangible for seventh graders through college visits and mentorships. She is currently working with Danville's chapter of History United to explore and dissect our local Civil Rights history that has subsequently led to the educational achievement gap. For our seventh graders, Jordan is orchestrating visits to local historic sites, reflection through spoken word, and a reenactment of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous address to Danvillians on March 26, 1963.
I first got involved with civic work through Averett University's Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness as a freshman. Volunteering, I learned so much about my surrounding community and was inspired to instill change through education. I learned how Averett played a vital role in providing resources in the community's K-12 school system, and wanted to be a part of it. So as one of Averett's National Bonner Leaders (a four-year servant leadership program), I decided to support a platform of enriching the future's minds. I feel specifically called to teach first-generation students how to maximize the possibilities of post-secondary options. For example, a first year experience class of incoming Averett freshmen that I co-taught hosted 433 local sixth graders over two days on campus for educational games and tours, displaying how college can be fun and accessible. I hope to continue this project and more as I continue my education at Averett University and as a Newman Civic Fellow. I am particularly hopeful to make the Danville, VA Civil Rights Movement more relatable to our local youth through reenactments, spoken word, and music.