Jordan Carey is a senior at Hazelwood Central High School in St. Louis County. Earlier this week, KMOV-TV ran this feature story on the young man.
I met Jordan last year after a Dance Plus show my daughter performed in. He was there to support one of the girls at the studio and she introduced me to him after the show. Jordan wore a Yale shirt that day and I was instantly impressed.
Missouri kids usually don’t wear Yale apparel for the sake of fashion. I recalled a previous conversation with the young lady when I gave her a little help with some precalculus. Her phone dinged at least a dozen times in 15 or so minutes.
She admitted it wasn’t her mom. Her “friend” Jordan was the one texting. Out of frustration with her lack of attention, I said, “Unless Jordan can help you with these formulas, I need you to focus.”
“He can,” she said. “Mr. Solomon, Jordan is really smart. I mean really smart! He’s trying to get in an Ivy League school. He can do all of this precalculus. It comes naturally to him.”
Jordan is an outstanding athlete, but if he were a Marvel Comics character, his intellect would be a super power.
A 4.0 GPA earns Summa Cum Laude honors for a Hazelwood graduating senior. Jordan carries a 4.1. His elevated GPA is due to his challenging course load of honors and advanced placement classes.
Jordan also scored a 31 on the ACT. For the uninitiated, this score puts him in the top 3 percent of students statewide. He’s not merely a smart football player; he’s smart. Period.
His parents are great examples of what can happen when kids are encouraged to excel athletically and academically. Jordan doesn’t just keep his grades up. They are his foundation.
Kids can have their cake and eat it, too. They can walk and chew gum at the same time. They can run a 4.3 40-yard dash and have a 4.3 GPA. They can score a 31 on the ACT and score 31 touchdowns.
We only have to make excellence our expectation and achievement our aspiration.