2007 Citizen Awards
Jordan Moore-Fields has a lot on his plate at just 17.
He's graduating from Oak Park and River Forest High School this year after maintaining a 3.5 GPA. Since his sophomore year, he has worked on the school's student newspaper, The Trapeze. He also serves as a mentor to other students.
As the oldest of four kids to parents Jackie Moore and Mark Fields, Jordan has the usual "big brother" responsibilities. But Jordan has had to take on a greater role with his mother suffering from lupus.
Jordan, low-key and soft-spoken, said taking on such responsibilities can be difficult at times, but he doesn't complain-it's just one of the things he has to do.
"A lot of my friends are able to have a job during the school year to make a little extra money, but that's my job, to come home and help out with my siblings," Jordan said of his brother, an eighth-grader, and his twin sisters, both in third grade.
At school, Jordan became news editor of the Trapeze this year. Though he likes writing and enjoyed working on the paper, he doesn't see himself working in journalism as a career.
"At the end of my freshman year, I was looking for an activity to get involved in so I applied for the Trapeze," he recalled. "It's just something I enjoyed doing, writing stories about events going on in school and stuff that interest students. It was a way that I felt I could connect with the school more, but I don't see myself becoming journalist."
Jordan instead will major in political science at Amherst College this fall. He said he wants to be a political strategist and work on campaigns. He's also interested in history.
Jordan took a world history class at OPRF and it became one of his favorite subjects, he said.
He volunteered last summer at the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest giving tours of homes and working in the archives.
Jordan likes American history in particular, which includes political history, and not just names and dates, he said, but the people and ideas of the time.
At OPRF, Jordan served on the Minority Achievement Committee (MAC), a peer-mentoring group for black male students to attack the academic achievement gap. A few black teachers at OPRF started the committee this past school year and nominated students, including Jordan, to serve as mentors. The group also focuses on students' lives in other areas.
"Upper classmen mentor under classman not only in the academic achievement gap but if the student is having a problem with a teacher or not coming to class," said Jordan. "It's nice to have a place where other black males who are concerned about their education can help the younger ones who are still trying to find their way."