Volunteering makes Brother Rice senior a happy camper
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent April 19, 2013 4:32PM
Jordan Rand, a senior at Brother Rice High School, has put in 225 hours of community service at a summer camp. | Joseph P. Meier ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 23, 2013 6:01AM
Jordan Rand isn’t all about camps, counseling and care packages, but he is dedicated to such endeavors.
A senior at Brother Rice High School in Chicago, Rand plays soccer for the Crusaders, too. But, yes, he does rack up hours and hours of community service volunteering for several organizations.
Rand, 18, recently wrapped up a project sending care packages to refugee families coming from Africa to the United States. It was an activity taken up by his youth group at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Oak Park.
“Packages included things to get their lives started here and set up their apartment,” Rand said.
He also volunteers with the Valentine Boys and Girls Clubs in Chicago’s Bridgeport community.
“I used to go there, and when I was old enough, I did junior counseling in the summer,” he said.
Occasionally, he will also help out at a day care center in a friend’s home.
However, it is at a YMCA camp in Wisconsin where he racked up a whopping 225 service hours — the equivalent of about six weeks at a full-time job.
“I have been going there since I was 9. I really like this place, so when I was old enough, I wanted to volunteer there,” Rand said.
He started volunteering there the summer after eighth grade. He works for a week or so. The summer of 2012 was his last year as a junior counselor. This summer, since he is 18, he’ll be a staff counselor, working all summer, June 8 through Aug. 19.
“I like the camp because I’ve been going there for so long. I consider it a second family,” Rand said. “They tell us that once you’re old enough, you can volunteer. I knew from the beginning I wanted to volunteer. I love this place enough that I want to be there all summer.”
It’s not about spending the summer in an idyllic setting, although that isn’t half-bad, either. For Rand, the son of Marybeth and Booker Jones, of Chicago’s Beverly community, it is all about giving back.
“I like community service. My parents taught me to give back and I like helping people,” he said.
At camp, Rand runs a variety of activities. Although his specialty is soccer, he also gets involved in canoeing, archery, rock climbing and other activities.
“I’ve worked with every age group and I enjoy all of them. Working with kids is really fun and enjoyable,” he said.
Next school year, Rand plans to play soccer while attending college at the University of Dubuque. He wants to study sports medicine or pediatric sports medicine.
“That way I can work with kids and sports or do sports medicine in general,” he said.
His parents are his heroes.
“They are pushing me every single day,” he said. “They instilled the idea of giving back and being the best person you can be. Making them proud keeps me going and pushes me every day.”