Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) student, Jack Jordan has been awarded one of the 49 Legacy Scholarships established by the onePULSE Foundation for the Fall 2022 semester. The onePULSE Foundation was established “to create a sanctuary of hope” in the memory of the Pulse nightclub victims and survivors of the June 12, 2016 attack. In honor of the 49 Angels who passed away, the foundation provides 49 Legacy Scholarships up to $10,000 each to “recipients who embody love, hope, unity, acceptance, courage and strength.”
“I am a queer trans student who also struggles with low vision, which means I can’t drive. While I try to save money, this scholarship will help me stay in school and pay for the accommodations I need without having to rely on my family for financial support,” said Jordan. A prescribed set of lenses to assist Jordan with their eyesight costs $4150; this scholarship is a way to save money for that needed purchase. Until then, Jordan remains essentially blind in one eye.
At 13, Jordan never lost sight of who they are and came out as trans. The lack of family acceptance was difficult, and it affected their physical and mental health. A school guidance counselor, who was also a social worker, linked Jordan with a local organization of social workers that helped set up a care plan for Jordan and their mother who was coming to terms with Jordan’s identity.
“Even though my mother understood gay, the trans thing was something she needed help navigating. The organization helped my mom by linking her with somebody who was also Latina and who understood the cultural aspects of what my mom was going through,” said Jordan who now explains their mother is their “biggest cheerleader.”
“Those social workers were LGBTQ competent and took the time to understand what I was going through. They gave me the resources I needed to survive because without them I don’t think I would be here,” they said.
Jordan already has experience advocating for people who identify as LGBTQ+. In high school, Jordan was on the board of a youth organization where they built workshop curriculums focused on different LGBTQ+ topics (e.g., media literacy, privilege, safe-sex, policy, etc.). “It was young people for young people, we built the curriculum and talked about topics that weren’t normally discussed in classrooms, but part of our daily lives,” said Jordan.
After graduating with a BSW, Jordan’s goal is to continue their advocacy work and provide diversity and inclusion trainings that positively impact the LGBTQ+ community. “I want to be more like those social workers who helped me and provide LGBTQ competency training in educational settings to positively impact our community,” they said.