Bridesburg Elementary student honored for activism

Jor­dyn Colville, from Brides­burg, re­cieves the Young Her­oes Award at the Na­tion­al Liberty Mu­seum for out­stand­ing com­munity and school achieve­ments, Thursday, Au­gust 9, 2012, Phil­adelphia, Pa. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

Jor­dyn Colville is a young hero.

That’s lit­er­ally the title the 11-year-old Brides­burg stu­dent was giv­en by the Na­tion­al Liberty Mu­seum in a ce­re­mony Aug. 9.

The mu­seum an­nu­ally re­cog­nizes young people ages eight to 18 who work for pos­it­ive change in their schools and com­munit­ies with its Young Her­oes Awards.

Colville was awar­ded for her act­iv­ism ef­forts in the past year at Brides­burg Ele­ment­ary, from which she will be mov­ing on in the fall to at­tend New Found­a­tions Charter School.

Colville, along with 16 oth­er win­ners, will also be part of a year­long Young Her­oes ex­hib­it at the mu­seum, slated to be­gin with­in the next six months.

And while Colville has been re­cog­nized for her ef­forts throughout her school, her fam­ily mem­bers said that she is thought­ful and help­ful to oth­ers in every part of her life.

“She takes my feel­ings in­to con­sid­er­a­tion,” said her moth­er Kar­en Colville.

In fact, Kar­en Colville said, when she and Jor­dyn went shop­ping for a new dress for Jor­dyn to wear to the Young Her­oes Awards ce­re­mony, Jor­dyn sug­ges­ted to her moth­er that they just shop at Tar­get to save money.

“I told her, ‘I’ll take you any­where you want,’ and she said, ‘I don’t want you spend­ing a lot of money,’” Kar­en Colville said. “She thinks a lot about oth­er people.”

When tak­ing stock of Jor­dyn’s ac­com­plish­ments at Brides­burg Ele­ment­ary, it’s clear that’s very true.

Shar­on Shea, a teach­er at the school, nom­in­ated young Colville for the award due to her work with sev­er­al pro­grams — Colville took the lead on an anti-bul­ly­ing ini­ti­at­ive, did work for Op­er­a­tion Gifts for Giv­ing, helped co­ordin­ate a school wide re­cyc­ling pro­gram and helped raise money for Alex’s Lem­on­ade Stand.

In an in­ter­view Aug. 10 at her Le­fevre Street home, Colville dis­cussed her mo­tiv­a­tions as a young lead­er and the de­tails of her in­volve­ments.

“I just think it’s very fun be­cause I’m help­ing oth­er kids and hav­ing fun at the same time,” Colville said of her work.

As pres­id­ent of her school’s branch of the Na­tion­al Ele­ment­ary Hon­or So­ci­ety, she took it upon her­self to spear­head the school ef­forts that led to her nom­in­a­tion and win.

Colville or­gan­ized a re­cyc­ling pro­gram that ar­ranged for a group of stu­dents that would go from classroom to classroom col­lect­ing plastic bottles to re­cycle. If a stu­dent turned in a bottle, he or she re­ceived a tick­et that would go in­to a draw­ing for a prize at the end of each week.

“There’s re­cyc­ling bins every­where [at the school] but we nev­er use them,” she said. “I thought we would get a lot [of bottles] if we just gave them tick­ets for it.” She ad­ded that stu­dents got ex­cited about the pro­gram, and one stu­dent brought in two trash bags full of bottles.

She also helped or­gan­ize and con­trib­uted to the school’s ef­forts for Op­er­a­tion Gifts for Giv­ing, which donates toys to the chil­dren of act­ive duty mil­it­ary par­ents dur­ing the hol­i­days.

For her in­volve­ment with Alex’s Lem­on­ade Stand, Colville and oth­er stu­dents sold lem­on­ade and lem­on­ade-flavored cook­ies at par­ent-teach­er con­fer­ences after school, and even­tu­ally sur­passed their goal of rais­ing $1,000.

Colville said she had a lot of fun help­ing or­gan­ize an anti-bul­ly­ing pro­gram at Brides­burg Ele­ment­ary. She and oth­er stu­dents cre­ated posters dis­play­ing anti-bul­ly­ing mes­sages and pos­ted them throughout the school.

“We tried mak­ing them [the groups] fun so kids would want to be in it,” she said.

Colville, who said she’d like to be either a doc­tor or a crime scene in­vest­ig­at­or as a ca­reer, said she felt very proud and ex­cited when she heard she won the Young Her­oes Award.

She said she feels that the groups she helped to be­come suc­cess­ful set a good ex­ample for oth­er kids at Brides­burg Ele­ment­ary.

“Some kids in the be­gin­ning of school year didn’t care if they got in trouble,” she said. “Do­ing all the pro­grams, I think it helped them listen more and [real­ize] that they wanted to be in­volved.”

Kar­en Colville said she knows that her daugh­ter is def­in­itely a lead­er, and she’s a very proud par­ent.

“She’s very head­strong about what she does,” she said of her daugh­ter. “I wasn’t sur­prised [that Jor­dyn won the award], but I was of course very proud.”

Jor­dyn’s sis­ter Brit­tany, 19, said she’s amazed at her young­er sib­ling’s ac­com­plish­ments.

“It’s just amaz­ing all the stuff she finds time to do,” she said.

As she moves on to a new school, Colville said she is very ex­cited, even though she won’t know any fel­low stu­dents. She’s not wor­ried, she said, be­cause she really likes meet­ing new people.

“I can get along with people very good, it’s just really easy for me,” she said.

Kar­en Colville said though she’s al­ways proud of her daugh­ter, it be­came clear to her how sig­ni­fic­ant Jor­dyn’s work is when stacked against the oth­er win­ners’.

“Yes­ter­day, after sit­ting through the whole ce­re­mony and see­ing how amaz­ing these chil­dren were…” she said, “…she was a part of it.”

Star Man­aging Ed­it­or Mi­kala Jam­is­on can be reached at 215-354-3113 or at mjam­is­on@bm­s­

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