Jordan is a 2021 Hanna graduate and a lifelong Sonoma resident. As a young child, he had an older cousin whom he looked up to. He attended Hanna and, after graduation, pursued higher education for a Nursing degree.

Growing up as the middle of three children, Jordan recalled being rebellious and struggling with dyslexia. “I always had good grades, but reading comprehension was tough for me. When I entered Hanna, I was in middle school, where class sizes were always large. The teachers didn’t have time to work with me one-on-one, which is what I needed to improve.”

As Jordan grew, his home situation became increasingly stressful, and he became more rebellious. His mother struggled to raise and feed three young children alone. Already familiar with Hanna and the positive experience of one family member, the family determined that Hanna could also be the best place for Jordan.

Within two semesters of attending school at Hanna, Jordan’s reading comprehension “did a full 180.” The school librarian regularly worked with him, and his writing/reading assignments ceased to be so labor-intensive. This was the first time he had received tutoring for his dyslexia, and it proved to make all the difference.

During Jordan’s time at Hanna, he found his ‘home’ working in the kitchen. He worked his way up from being the dishwasher, then cleaning pots and pans, and finally being able to cook the meals. “Working in the kitchen,” he says, “was like a brotherhood; we were all close. Once the students and staff had been served, management allowed us to make our own meals, using whatever available food – we could be as creative as we wanted.”

Jordan graduated and immediately enrolled in the junior college. The transition proved to be more than he could handle at the time. “The environment was completely different; I didn’t realize – and I was not good at communicating. I needed help but didn’t ask for it.” He dropped out, and after a year’s break, Jordan reenrolled with a clearer understanding of the commitment. “And now, I’m asking for the support I need. Even as an alum, Hanna is helping me navigate steps toward becoming independent.” Jordan wants to work in the field of Human Resources eventually.

While at Hanna, Jordan was very involved in the Spiritual Program on campus. His favorite memories are special trips to the McGrath Institute at Notre Dame and visiting different churches in San Francisco and even Los Angeles. “I’d never been out of Sonoma before,” he says. “We got to visit Homeboy Industries in LA and helped them on their 5K fundraiser day. Then we ran the course ourselves; it was the most fun I’d ever had.”

Jordan reflected on how his life might be different now if attending Hanna had not been an option. “I had a lot of anger issues in my early teens,” he says. “Hanna helped me get through that period. If I hadn’t received the help I needed, I would have probably gotten into many more fights and struggled to finish high school. Very likely, I would not have pursued a higher education. Now, I’m the first in my family to do so. And I can help my mom out at home. I’m optimistic about my future and thankful that Hanna was there for me.”