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Alumni Spotlight: Jestini Jordan

21CL Alumna  Jestini Jordan is a graduate of Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology (2018) and of Texas A&M University (May 2022); now she owns and operates a digital business company – Jess My Creations. Throughout high school, Jestini attended many of our student programs, was a 21CL Youth Ambassador and was one of our 2018 Georgia Youth Leadership Award winners. She prides herself in being a great listener-the skill she acquired from 21CL programs!

Paint a brief picture of what you are doing now.

I just graduated from Texas A&M University with an engineering degree in Industrial Distribution! I also own and operate a digital art and digital services business called Jess My Creations where I make custom digital portraits, stickers, and more! Over my college tenure, I’ve been a resident advisor, a campus tour guide, and an active member of a women’s organization. Being involved throughout my college career has served me well but has specifically taught me the importance of building a community. Since graduating high school, I’ve moved to a new state, met people with incredible backgrounds, and strengthened and developed long lasting connections and networks.

How did participating in 21CL transform you and lead you to where you are now?

Being involved in 21CL transformed the way I looked at leadership and groomed me into the young adult I am today. Being a part of 21CL taught me the true meaning of selfless service and being able to be confident in my ability to shift the paradigm. By being able to explore and refine my skills as a leader through 21CL programs during my high school, I’ve been able to excel and be confident in college in settings such as group projects, campus-wide events, and in specific leadership roles like being a resident advisor and a tour guide.

Which programs did you participate in? How did the skills/tools/perspectives you acquired from 21CL prepare you for your next steps, going into college, taking on new leadership roles in your community, college and after?

I participated in the SYLI program in the summer of 2016, the Turner Voices Youth Media Institute program in the summer 2017, and I was a member of the Executive Council as a 21CL Youth Ambassador for the 2017-2018 school year. I was also a 21CL Georgia Youth Leadership Award recipient in 2018. By participating in 21CL programs, I gained the strength and confidence to take leadership roles on my college campus, vocalize my thoughts, and feed my passions. By being able to partake in the 21CL programs, I learned the true meaning of leadership early and built a foundational knowledge to eventually grow upon in college. Whether it was the speaker panels during the Turner Voices program, or the case study in the SYLI program, I learned the skill and value of public speaking. I also had the opportunity to be a moderator in my role as a Youth Ambassador, which taught me a lot about how to convey myself in a collected manner and projecting my voice.

Do you have a memorable or ‘aha’ moment during your time at 21CL? (Particular program, meeting a professional and diverse peer, speaking in public for the first time, etc.?)

My most memorable moments from my time at 21CL was meeting the likeminded peers and students from across Georgia. I loved being able to have conversations with student leaders from Savannah while also chatting with student leaders from North Georgia, all in one sitting! I loved the diversity of the program and how everyone had their own special distinction. I was able to build relationships with students that I am still connected with and talk to today! Building a community of leaders is something that I learned during my 21CL days and having friends who were also leaders, helped to propel and challenge me as a leader. 21CL did a real great job at filling the room with individuals that were innovative, exuded confidence, and were active listeners!

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? if so how? And have you recently learned something else about leadership? Please share!

Yes! 21CL helped me refine and develop my leadership style that I still utilize and lead with today. I lead through listening and 21CL set the foundation for being a leader that listens first and then acts. As a young adult, listening provides clarity, allows me to create a calculated solution, and most importantly it allows for me to make sound decisions. 21CL fostered the ideas of active listening and engagement early in my career as a leader, allowing me to flourish in my roles today!