On September 18, 2016 Jordan spoke to the guests of our 6th annual 100 Mile Dinner to share how his scholarships have impacted him.
I cannot begin to express how truly honoured I am to have been selected as this year’s 100 Mile Dinner scholarship recipient, and to be able to be here today to speak to all of you is very humbling.
I would like to start by thanking everyone here tonight, as well as anyone that attended last year’s dinner, as I am representing only 1 of the 3,200 youth and students you have helped support over the past year, so please a round of applause for everyone here!
I have always felt that the best way to do good in this world, is to give back. Whether it be volunteering, donating, or attending dinners like this, you are making the world a better place. You are impacting someone’s life for the better.
Now the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg is usually attributed to helping inner city kids, but I myself grew up in south Winnipeg. Fort Richmond to be exact… but the neighbourhood in which I group up was quite rough itself.
In the Manitoba housing complex that I lived in, there was a solid group of about 10 kids around the same age. We were all from low income families, and spent most of our time outside playing with each other ‘til late in the evenings.
We all went to the same schools, and had the same opportunities as each other and lived in an environment that could lead us into troublesome situations.
Fast forward 10 years, where are all these kids now?
Well, some are in gangs… dealing drugs… doing drugs… or in jail.
But if we all started from the same situation, how do I find myself here, on this stage today?
I can honestly say, along with the influence and guidance of my hard-working, beautiful mother, it was due large in part to the Boys and Girls Club.
Boys and Girls Club has helped shape me into the person I am today, as well as the person I aspire to be in the future.
My time with the Boys and Girls Club began back in the 4th grade at my elementary school. We were only a part time club, so a few times a week, we would all gather into the science room, sit down quietly and…. This is my favourite part… wait until everyone in the room was quiet so we could get our snack.
Now that may not sound too bad, because really, how long could it possibly take for an adolescent group of children to all sit down, and stay quiet?
The answer is FOREVER… or at least what felt like forever.
It would start a few kids whispering.. then someone shhhushing the kids whispering … then someone shhhushing the other shusher… then someone saying “shut up”… then everyone would be mad at the kid for saying shut up… and it never stopped.
Anyways, I would consistently go to the Boys and Girls Club over the next 5 years, and the opportunities I was fortunate enough to have been exposed to were incredible.
When I was 10 I went to Camp Manitou, a one night camp out in Headingly. The next summer I would travel to Kenora and spend a week at BB Camp learning to make fires, dance, build a tent, and make friendships that I’ve been able to keep to this day.
Then there was Rotary Club… my first paid position with Boys and Girls Club. With the Rotary Club, we volunteered around the community, cleaning up garbage, washing cars and helping at Winnipeg Harvest. As a kid, I thought I was making a killing, volunteering for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for a full summer... all to take home a whopping $200! (which to a 12 year old can go a long way)
But these were just a few of the opportunities the Boys and Girls Club has provided me with… not to mention the countless Bombers games, Goldeyes games, trips to the beach, and other such outings...
Come Junior High, I started coming only a few times a week to play basketball with friends, but nonetheless I was still around/involved. During the 10th grade, I was coming a little more infrequently due to practices, extracurricular activities, and studying on the weekends.
It was in the 10th grade when I was awarded my first scholarship through the Boys and Girls Club. I, along with a few others, was selected as the Future Shop: Future Generations scholarship winners. This entailed a year’s tuition, as well as a gift card to Future Shop to use towards the purchase of a laptop.
Now at the time, I was attending Fort Richmond Collegiate, where tuition was about 50 bucks a year. So to find out that $4,000 would get me only 1 year in University, it really opened my eyes, and got me thinking about my post-secondary education expenses.
So, at the end of the 10th grade I was approached with an opportunity to volunteer a couple times a week, for an after school program called “Power Up”. If I reached a certain amount of hours per week, I would receive a bursary at the end of the year for university. I would go on to volunteer with Power Up over the next two years.
I was then fortunate enough to get a full time position my first summer out of high school with the CSI Program – a program designed to help students from less fortunate walks of life, cope with, and overcome what is known as summer learning loss.
I then moved into a part-time role over my first two years of University, where I would study at The Asper School of Business, direct entry from high school.
As I have pursued my post secondary education, I have worked summer term positions at both MPI and Steinbach Credit Union, and upon graduating, I one day hope to be a Financial Analyst.
None of this would be possible without the funding, support, and experiences I have received from Boys and Girls Club.
I come from a single-parent family with 4 kids, so University was always up in the air after graduating. But thanks to the generosity of folks like you in this room… you have given my mom once less thing to worry about. You have given me one less thing to worry about.
The opportunity to attend post secondary school without having to worry about student debt, without having to work full time during school to pay for tuition. Rather, I have been given the opportunity to focus on my studies and to focus on also giving back... to my mother, my community, and one day, to a kid just like me…
Thanks you all once again so much. You have all impacted my life in a way that I will forever be grateful for.