Between going to school, working two jobs at Chipotle and Forever Yogurt, and soon starting his spring sport of volleyball, Jordan spends a lot of time commuting. But even if it means 1 1/2 hours on two buses, he makes sure he gets to Cluster Tutoring every week.
Jordan started at Cluster when he was in 2nd grade, and he’s been working with his current tutor, Vicki Bartlett, since 3rd grade. Jordan is now a senior at CICS Northtown Academy.
Jordan’s favorite part of tutoring is the time that he and Vicki spend together. “She sends me postcards when she goes on vacation. She’s always been there for me.”
At the beginning, they spent a lot of time on Jordan’s reading skills. Vicki made flash cards to help him with phonics and spelling, and she made sure he learned new words every week.
Over the years, Jordan’s organization skills improved along with his reading. He said Cluster’s resources, such as the laptop computers, printer, and library, have made doing his homework easier. “And he’s always been really good at math,” Vicki said.
“It’s been fun watching him progress,” Vicki added. “If you had told me back when we started that he’d be accepted at nine colleges, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m really, really proud of him.”
Indeed, Jordan has been accepted at nine schools, but he’s already put a deposit down on his first choice, Western Illinois University, where he wants to study criminal justice. He knows he’s got a challenge ahead of him, but he still wants to get a degree in criminal justice and become a Chicago cop.
“When I was still in grammar school, an officer came to talk to us, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said. “I know I would be passionate about it. I love being active, and it would be a good career for me.”
Jordan said he knows the dangers involved — something his dad also has talked to him about — but he said he would face the same dangers “just walking down the street.”