|Junior Accepted into Prestigious Leadership Program for African-American Students
April 03, 2009
by Emily Matras
While many students look forward to summer as a chance to rest and regroup, Jordan Wall ’10 plans to dive right back in the academic pool. Wall has been accepted for a fellowship with the Institute for Responsible Citizenship (IRC) in Washington, D.C., a two-year leadership program for talented young African-American male college students.
|Jordan Wall '10|
This summer, Wall will join 15 other students from around the country for a full-time internship and a rigorous class schedule consisting mainly of government and economics courses. “I always wanted to take courses in public policy and constitutional principles and haven’t managed to do that so far at Davidson,” said Wall. “So I'm really excited and thankful to get the opportunity to do so for the next two summers.”
The IRC was founded in 2003, and participants have gone on to some of the top graduate and law schools in the country. One was recently named a Rhodes scholar. Wall said he’s looking forward to the opportunity, but is wary of the daunting course load. He said, “To be honest, it’s all a little intimidating. It’ll be all day, every day during these summers. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I’ll be working at my internship, and then from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. I’ll be in classes taught by some great professors. In the past Institute students have even met with influential people like Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.”
Assistant Dean of Student Life Ernest Jeffries, who encouraged Wall to apply for the program, thinks he is up to the challenge. “Jordan is a good candidate for the fellowship because he is a person of great integrity, well written, well spoken, and has a great work ethic,” said Jeffries.
Wall applied to the program in part because of his career goal of becoming a diplomat. “I’ve always wanted to live and work in Washington,“ he said. “I feel that I’m indebted to the community and the government. I don’t want to be one of those people who say that they have no influence on the government.”
The program assigns students to internships the first year, and Wall is hoping to work with an agency concerned with LGBTQ and human rights issues. “I think the quest for LGBTQ rights is the unsung civil rights movement of today,” said Wall. “Here at Davidson I’ve been involved with the Gay-Straight Alliance, and I’d like to see how the movement works on the next level.”
Wall applied for the program early decision after meeting program founder William Keyes at Davidson while Keyes was touring southern schools. Wall and Keyes had an informal interview outside of the Union, and since then Keyes and other representatives of the program have been keeping in touch with Wall. That kind of personal relationship made an impact. “What has really impressed me is how institute staff members have approached me,” he said. “This is a group of individuals who are really on the ball. It was quite impressive.”
Aside from helping him achieve his personal goals, Wall believes in the importance of helping young African-Americans succeed. “The program is cultivating individuals already on the right track and providing them with them more motivation to do well and give back to their community,” said Wall. “I wish there were programs like this for everyone. It is an model of what can be done.”
A Belk Scholar at Davidson, Wall has studied in France with the Davidson in Tours program, and he plans to use his Belk stipend to continue his study of French in Canada this summer. With earlier support from his Belk scholarship, he lived and studied in Japan.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.
Posted By: Bill Giduz