My name is Jordan Shanks and I’m a sophomore at Howard University in Washington, DC. While I was interning in New York this past summer, I learned that my father had been laid off. Needless to say, my financial situation has changed a lot since then. I had plans in place to pay for my balance which fell through, and i’ve found myself having to do whatever I can to raise the money to stay in school.
I’m the first in my family to go to college, and I would do anything for my education. I’ve done my best to stay involved on campus, as well as juggling an internship and my grades. My GPA went from a 2.5 to a 3.8 my freshman year. I’m a senior editor on the Bison Yearbook, an intern at the Office of University Communications, and a co-founder of a non-profit named “Below the Line” which aims to raise awareness on the conditions of people living in poverty in Washington, DC. I’ve also been offered an internship at Men’s Health Magazine this summer which relies on my ability to complete my sophomore year.
Howard has offered me opportunities that I never thought i’d have. Last semester, I was able to go to Ferguson, MO to protest and document the movement against police brutality. This past year I spent my spring break in Baltimore, Maryland volunteering for a group called America Works, a non- profit which helps lower-income citizens transition into the job force. I was also able to be a panelist on MSNBC New York as well as a participant in the Honda Campus All Star Challenge in Los Angeles.
My parents are first generation Americans from the Bronx, NY and they’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get me to this point. My biggest dream is to be able to look them in the eye on graduation day and make them feel proud of the work they’ve put in to me. Despite their inability to pay for my education right now, they’ve given me the opportunities they never had to pursue my dreams and make a life for myself.
I’m asking that you donate whatever you can and share my story with your networks. Thank you in advance, your donation means more than you can imagine.