Class of 2026: Marketing major moves forward despite unimaginable obstacles

Class of 2026: Marketing major moves forward despite unimaginable obstacles

M ost new students worry about transitioning into college, making friends and doing well in their classes. Jared Jordan of Macon is nervous about those things too. But he has additional things on his mind.

Jordan’s been in a wheelchair since a pool injury at age 15.

Last Sunday was the three-year anniversary of his accident. Yet, Jordan is upbeat and positive. He’s worked hard to be where he is today.

His focus is on the future.

I just try to surround myself with things that I enjoy—whether it be people, watching the Braves every day or playing with the dog. All the time, I try to do something that I enjoy and not just dwell in my thoughts.
– Jared Jordan
“I just try to surround myself with things that I enjoy—whether it be people, watching the Braves every day or playing with the dog,” said Jordan, who will join Georgia College’s class of 2026 in the fall.

“All the time,” he said, “I try to do something that I enjoy and not just dwell in my thoughts.”

Before his sophomore year at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, Jordan was enjoying a summer day at a friend’s house. He was getting out of a pool. To avoid getting tagged, he turned and dived back in.

It was the shallow end, and he hit his head.

His life hasn’t been the same since.

“I was like shocked, and I couldn’t move my arms or my legs or anything,” Jordan said. “I was face down, and I was just struggling because I couldn’t breathe and, close to a minute later, somebody noticed I couldn’t turn over and pulled me out.”

Jordan’s mother, Jennifer, was called. A nurse, she rushed to her son’s side. Even then, she said Jordan was calm. He told her not to cry.

Images from the FaceBook page "Prayers for Jared" from his high school days at Mount de Sales in Macon.
Images from the FaceBook page "Prayers for Jared" from his high school days at Mount de Sales in Macon.
At first, Jordan thought his injuries would be taken care of, and he’d resume a normal life. But—after spinal surgery for neck fractures, being in ICU 10 days and 4 ½ months rehabilitating—he began to realize he might not walk or play football again.

Today, Jordan has only a little sensation in one leg. He can’t use the fingers on his right hand but has some muscle control in his left arm. He beat the odds, however, and can do things now his surgeons never thought possible.

The family renovated their house to accommodate Jordan’s disabilities. Mount de Sales gave him a full scholarship and assigned peers to help him through his first semester back. Jordan was determined to do things on his own and quickly grew out of the need for assistance.

It wasn't easy. Jordan was right-handed and had to learn to do even simple tasks, like brushing his teeth, with his left. But despite the difficulties, it didn’t take long for him to regain optimism in life.

“At first, my focus was therapy and learning how to do things I could no longer do,” Jordan said. “Everything I can do for myself and not have someone else do for me—that’s a win.”

Jared Jordan plans to major in marketing and hopes to work for the Atlanta Braves someday.
Jared Jordan plans to major in marketing and hopes to work for the Atlanta Braves someday.

At school, he adapts by taking notes on an iPad and dictating longer assignments. He plans to continue figuring things out for himself at Georgia College.

My biggest achievement has been overcoming the challenges I’ve faced...
– Jordan
“My biggest achievement has been overcoming the challenges I’ve faced living with a disability,” he said, “and learning how to creatively do everyday activities, given my circumstances. It's been a process for several years, and I still learn and practice new things frequently.”

It’s this determined doggedness and calm demeanor that’s carried Jordan through to orientation as a Bobcat.

“I am most looking forward to proving to myself I can do things that at one point I never could have imagined were possible,” he said.

His mother likes Georgia College, because of its great support system and Student Disability Resource Center. Jordan likes Georgia College for its size and because it’s close to home.

I chose Georgia College, because it was a great fit for me. I love the feel of a tight, small community where everyone knows each other. It was an easy choice.
– Jared Jordan

“I believe I have a very outgoing personality. I love to joke and have a good time but,” he said, “I’m also very focused on making the best out of this opportunity. I don’t want to take it for granted.”

Jordan plans to major in marketing. He enjoys the psychological component of advertising and thinks he has a natural gift for persuasiveness. He thinks he’ll enjoy learning how to appeal to consumers.

In addition, Jordan hopes to get involved with Georgia College’s baseball team in a marketing or social media role. He’d like to help out in any way needed, since the experience would help him reach his future goal.

“My dream job is to work with the Atlanta Braves in marketing,” he said. “I’ve always been a huge fan and supporter of the Braves, and it’d be a dream come true to work for them in some capacity.”

College will be a test to see if he can live on his own, but Jordan thinks he’s ready.

To others who have obstacles to overcome in their lives, he said, “Just don’t let it emotionally affect you. Try to stay level-headed. That’s what I’ve done through this whole experience.”