Hey everyone! My name is Jordan Howard and most of you don’t know me, and that’s okay! I’m so excited to share a little bit about myself with you and tell you why I’m excited to be part of this blog. So, stick with me and I’ll fill you in on the past 20 years of my life right quick….

Five years ago I was a high school junior, and my plan was to teach elementary school children in a small school like the one I grew up in Hickory, NC. Teaching the next generation and giving them a solid foundation seemed like the most important and valuable thing I could do with my life. But boy has that changed.

It took five years, a series of what seemed like unfortunate events and multiple academic advising appointments, but I finally found clarity. I learned that the reason I had wanted to teach was because it was a way that I could give back to an institution that had given me so much. Thankfully, I discovered that my skills were not meant for a classroom, but were actually meant for putting pen to paper, most of the time in a local coffee shop.

My heart is with those who do not have the platform, the voice or the opportunity to speak for themselves, and that is where I believe that I come in. Over the course of my academic career at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I have pursued public relations and communications degrees while also studying social and economic justice. Four years ago this was nowhere on my radar. I was hard set on teaching, or was it psychology…or was it business? Like I said, it was a convoluted time. But, looking back on it now, I see what seemed so confusing was actually God’s hand guiding and protecting me.

I’ve opened my eyes to what’s around me, and now I want to give to my community and those in need through telling their stories and hearing their voices. Hearing someone’s story that is different than your own can quickly change your perspective. I am privileged and humbled to tell those stories.

As a rising senior, I’ve been blessed with once in a lifetime opportunities at UNC. Some included traveling to Sweden, mentoring younger girls through a campus ministry, attending UNC vs. Duke basketball games in the Dean Dome, rushing Franklin Street after winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, and of course, sitting under some of the most inspirational and knowledgeable professors. But none of this compares to the friends and memories that I have made through these experiences.

I call Chapel Hill my home. This is where I found my people, where I’ve found my passions and where I found my voice for the first time. My love of coffee has exponentially grown— almost as much as my love for people has. Although I call Chapel Hill home, a piece of my heart is in Mocksville. From my first opportunity to work with DavieLiFE and the people there to finding local coffee shops and boutiques downtown, I’m beginning to find my place and call it my second home.

I’m still learning and I’m still discovering what my next steps are, but I hope that you’ll follow along with me as I have the opportunity to share with you a little piece of my life and my college experiences.

I hope to write about what no one told me about college that I really wish they had. It’ll be honest and it’ll be raw, but that’s what you’re here for, right? Plus, you’ll hear a lot about my love of coffee, my love for Jesus, my desire to travel, my inspirations to write and serve and most importantly, how all of this intertwines into my college life.

Like I said, I’m still learning and still walking through this season of my life, so if there is anything you’re curious about or want to hear more of concerning college life, please leave me a comment. If you haven’t joined the blog’s private Facebook Group–please do!  I may just be hopping on there in the near future to help answer some questions (from the perspective of a current college student) that may help you folks who are preparing freshmen for the big move!

This blog is for YOU, and I’m humbled by this opportunity and want to make it the best I can. Who knows what the next stage of life will bring, but I hope you’re here to see it with me. Buckle up and grab your coffee, we’re in for a wild ride.

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