Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Student Spotlight: Javon Gordon

Javon Gordon is a 7th grader at Manierre Elementary School. He lived in the Cabrini Green area until a couple years ago when his family moved to the west side. He says the move was tough because he left a lot of his friends, but participating in Cabrini Connections gives him the opportunity to come back. Javon’s older brother, William Gallion, who is an 11th grader at Lincoln Park High School, has been a member of the program since 2007.

Both brothers are huge sports fans; of basketball in particular. Javon plays point guard and, even though he’s a Chicago Bulls fan, his favorite player is Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. He predicts that the Bulls will play the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals and the winner of that series will win it all! (He could be right.)

Javon likes his school and his teachers but acknowledges that other students’ bad behavior makes for a difficult learning environment. He says that some kids act out and some curse at their teachers. Meanwhile, Javon stays focused. His favorite subject is science because he likes to know “how the world works.”

He is committed to getting an education because his mother and grandmother have pushed him. He dreams of being an athlete (basketball player) or a doctor (surgeon) when he grows up. Next year Javon will enter the 8th grade and begin searching for the right high school. He would like to attend Lane Tech College Prep.

At Cabrini Connections, Javon works with third year volunteer Charlie Goff. “He is a really good mentor… When I slack off, he makes me do the work,” says Javon. “He won’t tell me the answers. He says, ‘You know this.’” He’s teaching him to believe in himself.

Javon is also a member of the Writing Club which meets on Wednesdays from 5-6pm. He says it is a great forum to “express feelings” and you can expect to see him and other club members in video interviews during the 2011 Year-End Dinner on June 16th. It is especially impressive for Javon to be in Writing Club because he comes to tutoring on Thursday nights! Usually the pitch for Writing Club is that it’s easy to attend if you already come to tutoring on Wednesday nights, but Javon proves that Thursday night students can make it work, too!

His final advice, at Cabrini Connections and in life, is to “do your best!” Thanks, Javon!

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