I know that Civic Works’ interaction in my life worked, and I refuse to have a gift and not give back to those who walk in the same shoes that I did. – Leander
My name is Leander Jordan Jr. I am a Civic Works AmeriCorps member and I work with the older group of boys and girls at the Goodnow Community Center. I am another young kid from the city of the purple birds better known as Baltimore City. My 20 year journey so far has consisted of many obstacles, trials, and tribulations. Growing up with my mother playing both parenting roles, our daily struggles could sometimes become overwhelming. However, not having a father made me a very strong young man and us an even stronger family. At some point I came to realize that there are things you are going to experience that are going to mold you into the person you will be for the rest of your life.
In the year 2002, I was introduced to what I never knew would be the greatest opportunity I could come across. I started as a fourth grader at the Goodnow Community Center not knowing what to expect. Just like any other kid, I signed on my first day because I didn’t want to spend my whole summer in a summer camp. Little did I know, the summer was full of surprises. We took trips to amusement parks all over, met superstars, and saw things that we could only dream of once upon a time. Now that was all wonderful, especially at that age, but the value of Civic Works to me goes beyond the trips and memories. What this Center really had to offer me was a lifetime bond. AmeriCorps members became people that I could talk to about anything and look up to. Summertime classmates became lifetime friends. Police officers became father figures and filled in holes that my father left empty. There are so many individuals that I could thank, but it was Civic Works and the Goodnow Community Center as a unit that raised me. The long conversations about everything with the AmeriCorps members, the hot meals after school, the long laughs and short cries, lifetime lessons, and maximum blessings.
So when I received a phone call about an AmeriCorps position, I saw an opportunity. I’m still a kid myself at the age of 20, so I believe that there are ways that I can connect with kids, which they need more than they know. This position isn’t an opportunity for me to take but to give back to children what was once given to me. So when I’m asked where the passion comes from to do the things I do, I tell them that little brick building on Goodnow Road. Because of that building I never gave up on anything, stayed positive, and pushed to get the most out of every opportunity. I am now in my last year of college, senior captain of my basketball team, hard at working, and an over achiever. I know that Civic Works’ interaction in my life worked, and I refuse to have a gift and not give back to those who walk in the same shoes that I did. When it is all said and done, I just want to give the children the opportunities and blessings that I had.