Michael Jordan's Mom on a Mission

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Delores Jordan is best known as the mother of Michael Jordan, basketball's greatest player.

She is on a mission to help at risk kids through education.

"I truly believe that without an education you are on the back end, you do not get the opportunities, the doors do close in your face the glass ceiling comes around you and I do share that with them, said the famous Mom.

She has adopted four of Chicago's poorest public schools, and delivers programs that inspire children and their families.

"I started working with some of the corporations saying this is a school that needs help," said Mrs. Jordan.

A few years back, Victor Herbert Public School in Chicago, IL had major problems.

Jordan explained, "this school was on probation to be closed and I'm thinking no it cannot be. I was in shock when I learned that for 30 years they had not had a PTA, so I'm thinking how can you not have a pta for 30 years."

Today the school has a PTA and more.

Kindergarten students at Victor Herbert Public School enjoy learning through state of the art technology donated by the James R. Jordan Foundation, which is named for Delores Jordan's late husband.

There are other ways generating excitement at the school too. Students who maintain A's and B's throughout the school year can earn money towards college. Honor students are also eligible to win trips to Disney World through a program called the "A Team."

"Even my son that's in kindergarten he's saying you know how's the A-team? When do I get to be part? When am I going to be on the A team, are we going to Disney," commented one mother.

Denise Gallespie is the principal at Victor Herbert Public School.

Gallespie said, "the city of Chicago has challenges. We're trying to meet those challenges with a funding situation like Mrs. Jordan coming in it really does make us have another identity in terms of what we can do."

When CBN News visited Victor Herbert Public School, students showed off exactly what they can do.

Student Ariel Burley recited a popular poem by Langston Hughes.

"I am the darker brother, they send me to each in the kitchen when company comes, but I laugh and eat well and grow strong. Tomorrow I'll be at the table when company comes no one will dare say to me eat in the kitchen then. Besides they'll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed. I too am America," quoted Burley.

Teachers are grateful for Delores Jordan's influence.

Christine Poczik said, "the best things that she's brought is a sense of community. The kids are really able to connect with each other both in and outside of the building."

Delores Jordan's committment to kids and education extends beyond the classroom, to the James R. Jordan Neighborhood Center.

Don Reed is Executive Director of the Center. He explained, "we offer a variety of programs, as you can see we offer gym activities, homework assistance, tutorial assistance, computer lab, arts and crafts, leadership programs we have a teen program, so we try to run the gamut as far as youth services."

Many agree that without the attention kids get from the center, they would be left to their own devices after school.

"A lot of them would be engaged in gang activity pretty much all of the negative activities associated with idle time, the after school time from 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm in which young people have nothing to do," said Reed.

Mrs. Jordan agrees, which is why she stresses the importance of getting a good education.

She comments, "you can have all the things, all the things, but they leave you, but education is yours. People can take from you but they cannot take that away from you. If you want a gift that's a gift and it's a way out of poverty."

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Charlene Israel

Charlene Israel

CBN News Reporter

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