Jordan Metoyer, a Liberal Arts Honors junior majoring in urban studies and economics at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship.
Metoyer was one of 62 scholars from among 629 candidates nominated by 293 colleges and universities. Recipients must have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class and be committed to careers in government or the nonprofit sector.
Each scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, as well as leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, special internship opportunities within the federal government, and priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions.
"This award means the world to me," says Metoyer. "I will be a part of a family of visionary leaders committed to solving the nation's leading issues a difficult task in a time of striking polarization and inequality. I am committed to making a difference, and the fact that I get to do so as a Truman Scholar is more than I could ever ask for."
A graduate of John Foster Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Metoyer has maintained high grades while gaining valuable advocacy experience in several leadership roles, including chief of staff and Longhorn Legislative Aide for Student Government, and agency director for Diversity and Inclusion Agency.
Among her many philanthropic activities, Metoyer mentored a Girl Scout troop of at-risk girls in East Austin's public housing projects. She also served as a program consultant for the Helping Hands Apprenticeship Program, which aims to support sustainable development in Accra, Ghana.
Of all her public service endeavors, Metoyer says her proudest accomplishment is founding the City Relations Task Force, a student-run organization that focuses on safe, affordable and green student housing strategies.
After graduation, she is setting her sights on Harvard University, where she plans to earn a Master in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
"I am attracted to the school's Social and Urban Policy concentration, which offers classes in urban economic development, urban land-use planning, education, labor and poverty," Metoyer says. "I would like to find solutions to the problems facing the most vulnerable segments of populations in the United States and around the world."
Her long-term ambition is to return to her hometown of Inglewood, Calif., where she hopes to start a nonprofit offering valuable public resources to low-income at-risk youths, including health care, affordable housing, education and mental health services.
"An exemplary citizen of our academic community, Jordan envisions a career as a community organizer and holder of political offices, addressing the interrelated problems that arise from that crippling mix of poverty, lack of access to adequate housing, and low performing schools," says Larry Carver, chair of the university's Harry S. Truman Scholarship Selection Committee and director of the Liberal Arts Honors Program.
The 2013 Truman Scholars will assemble May 28 for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo., on June. 2.
Photo by Benjamin Johnson, a Plan II Honors/ Economics student