During his first year at Vanderbilt, Jordan Clark dedicated himself to making connections between service ideas, organizations, and opportunities and educating himself about the issues, both large and small, that affect society today. Drawing from the rich community of scholars and service groups in both the University & the Nashville area, Jordan has sought to integrate his own passions for the Spanish language, immigration, technology, healthcare, and sustainability with critical needs of communities and the institutions that shape them.
Vanderbilt Interaxon was one of the first student organizations Jordan discovered this year. This newly-formed service group, created to unite community-minded Neuroscience majors, partnered with Metro schools to bring Vandy students into area classrooms and expose kids of all ages to science and the brain. Jordan served as a Treasurer in the organization as well as a classroom volunteer. He plans to continue serving on the board in the upcoming year as the volunteer group expands.
Likewise, Jordan’s previous experiences with undocumented immigrants and traveling abroad led him to investigate what the Nashville community had to offer to its growing hispanic population. On campus, he was introduced to Amigos, which connects volunteers with community partners, such as the YMCA, that sponsor programs for latino students and their families. Jordan would later enroll in a service-learning Spanish class that allowed him to serve as a friend and mentor to a local middle school student. One of Jordan’s goals is to further research what is available to immigrants and refugees in Nashville in order to find more ways to contribute.
In another avenue, Jordan spent the first half of the spring semester working on a project for Incware, a small tech company based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The purpose of the project was to promote a mobile fundraising application to better connect consumers, non-profits, and local businesses. The end result was a full-length keynote presentation that Jordan had the privilege of delivering at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.
The year culminated with a trip to Veracruz, Mexico, with a new non-profit group of medical volunteers called the Walk Strong Foundation. This organization, created by the Southern Joint Replacement Institute out of Saint Thomas Hospital, aims to provide specialized orthopedic surgeries and much-needed medical equipment to the Regional Hospital of Veracruz. Jordan had connected previously with the group, assisting with tech support and helping with inventory, and was invited to join the team as a Spanish interpreter during their May expedition to Mexico. There, he assisted the team in the hospital as they performed surgeries and took care of patients. Jordan would then travel to the island of Cuba for two weeks on an independent project.
Looking ahead to the 2012–2013 school year, Jordan is committed to growing in the roles he has found as a servant leader and exploring new avenues of making a positive impact. Meanwhile, he plans to learn even more about how to seek and find solutions to 21st century problems. With the guidance and support of the Ingram Scholarship Program, Jordan hopes to converge these interests, experiences, and resources to successfully plan and execute a summer project this coming year.