2016 Shamaria Jordan

Shamaria Jordan

Edison High School, Minneapolis, MN

Despite challenging circumstances, Shamaria Jordan has excelled in school and shown commitment to improving the lives of those in her community. She counts advanced writing, math, and physics courses among her academic accomplishments, and her name appears regularly on the A/B honor roll. She has been a member of student council, captain of the track team, and a member of Link Crew, helping to orient new students to high school. Shamaria has completed service projects, including volunteering with Feed My Starving Children, and spent a summer serving as a camp counselor at Trout Lake, sharing her faith and working with younger children.

Shamaria could have taken a very different path in life.  As a child, her family members battled addiction and struggled to meet basic needs. Raised alongside her two sisters, brother, and mother’s younger sister, the family moved frequently, living in homes with no heat and no water. But Shamaria says that her challenging experiences have inspired her to “want to make it in this life” for her family, to make her mother proud, to give hope to her younger siblings, and as an example for other struggling children. Her experiences have fostered a sense of independence and leadership. Her nominator, teacher Sharon Cormany, echoes this sentiment and credits Shamaria’s success to her “motivation to challenge herself.”

“You have to want it for yourself. You can’t do anything without your own perseverance,” Shamaria says.

Shamaria plans to major in social work and minor in youth ministry. She hopes her ability to rise above a troubled childhood will inspire others. “You don’t have to be part of the cycle. You can stop it where you are if you make the right decisions in your life.”