An honor society officer has a goal to be the first in her family to graduate from college.
Angela Jordy is a newly elected College of the Mainland Phi Theta Kappa officer with a 3.75 GPA and a goal to be the first in her family to graduate from college.
While always a determined person, she was not always this determined to succeed in education.
By 11th grade, Jordy had attended 11 schools across the U.S. Her family moved frequently, and due to difficult circumstances Jordy dropped out of high school in her junior year.
“I had a lot of wasted potential,” the Bacliff resident said.
In October 2011 she decided to earn her GED and took the exam at College of the Mainland.
When she got her score, she showed it to COM recruiter Earl Alexander. His amazed reaction to her score—nearly 3,700 out of 4,000 possible points—reminded her that she’d been a good student in high school and she still had a chance to succeed in education.
She took the ACCUPLACER placement exam and by December enrolled in her first semester of college. Studying hard, she excelled and earned placement in Phi Theta Kappa, the national community college honor society.
“[Education] is a way for me not to waste more time,” she said.
A parent and full-time student, Jordy still makes time for campus activities. She's actively involved in the So Psyched student psychology club, a senator in student government and the new co-chair for Phi Theta Kappa’s annual Honors in Action project.
“I want to experience school. I don’t just want to go,” she said.
With the So Psyched student club she initiated a plan to host a free Prenatal and Early Childhood Health Fair on campus April 16. At the event, coordinated with the Texas City nonprofit Pregnancy and Parenting Support Center, students will provide free educational resources for parents. Jordy will demonstrate infant/child CPR at one of the ten booths.
“She has great ideas. She went out and made phone calls and did the initial footwork,” said SO Psyched faculty advisor Lalanya Ennis.
Jordy has enjoyed setting the event in motion.
“[This] is my one thing to make a difference this semester,” Jordy said.
Asked what keeps her going despite juggling so many responsibilities, she responded emphatically, "My kids--they're the ultimate reason."
Besides her three children—ages 13, 8 and 3—she draws strength from the support of COM staff and friends. "I like the faculty. Earl [Alexander] is so encouraging,” she said.
She has also received help in the form of scholarships through COM Student Support Services and Lighthouse Christian Ministries in Bacliff, a nonprofit organization that provided her a mentor and first sparked her interest in returning to school.
“I appreciate every ounce of help I get to overcome the past,” said Jordy.
Another hurdle she conquered was the subject many students dread--math. Placement tests showed she needed to take remedial math before tackling college algebra. Enrolling in professor Alan Bigos’ developmental math class, she often asked the “why” questions, and Bigos helped explain the reasons behind mathematical formulas. Tutors in the COM Math Lab also walked her through problems step-by-step, and she came to the lab so often she began requesting her favorite tutor.
“I went from a D to an A in five weeks,” she said. “That was a lot of hard work.”
Jordy is now ready for college algebra, and she doesn’t allow herself to imagine failure in that class or in any other.
“I can see myself in the spring walking across the stage [at graduation], so if I drop the ball, I’d be robbing myself,” she said.
After she earns her associate degree, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at University of Houston-Clear Lake. Experiencing domestic violence and a decade-long battle for custody of her children has motivated her to consider studying behavioral science or sociology. She eventually wants to serve as an advocate or in another human service role.
“I always needed help, and sometimes that was nearly impossible to find. I want to be that person I needed,” she said.
Alexander has watched her blossom on campus.
“We’re really proud of her. Just to go from no education to the honor society, she’s doing great,” he said.
Jordy has already planned her summer schedule—she’ll take two courses online to give her flexibility to stay home with the baby she’s expecting--and then come on campus for science labs in the fall.
“Even though I have a lot going on in my life right now, I’m not stopping,” she said. “I want to make a difference, and I want a better future for my family.”