By: Annie Oeth, email@example.com
Note: This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Under the Rainbow, the semi-annual magazine for Children’s of Mississippi.
Aug. 16 was a big day for Jordan Morgan.
“It’s my first day of class at Hinds Community College and when I’ll start to focus on music instead of it being something I enjoy in my free time,” he said. “It’s when my music career starts.”
A 2021 Clinton High graduate and scholar, Morgan not only knows how to chase dreams but how to catch them.
Born 11 weeks early, and weighing just 3 pounds, Jordan was given a dire prediction when his cerebral palsy was diagnosed.
“I was told he wouldn’t be able to walk, feed himself or write his name,” said his mother, Deborah Morgan. Since then, Jordan’s been proving those predictions wrong.
Morgan, a 2021 graduate of Clinton High, received one of Hinds’ highest honors, a Luckyday Foundation Scholarship covering more than half of his tuition each semester. A classically trained pianist, Morgan is majoring in music industry and production at Hinds.
“There were three things I wanted to achieve by the end of high school: be accepted at Hinds, be awarded at least one scholarship and graduate with an A average,” he said. “I did them all, and I’m excited to move forward.”
This summer, Morgan’s working on his motor skills and hoping to learn to drive with hand controls. He’s already gotten his learner’s permit.
“I’m going to stay home this summer and work on my music-reading skills and driving,” he said. “I’m also reading an AP music theory book since I took music theory my junior year of high school. I want to be prepared.”
Those aren’t the only summer activities Morgan has. He’s working at the Goodwill Industries shop in Clinton and has started a YouTube channel for his music business, Stars & Skaters Entertainment.
“Its name includes one of my other passions,” he said, “roller-skating.”
Morgan plans to produce his own music and others through Stars & Skaters, getting his inspiration from the production duo of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, The Neptunes.
“When I first learned about them and heard their music, I was in junior high, and they were around my age when they started,” Morgan said. “I thought, if they could create music at a young age, I could, too. As producers, they’ve worked with so many artists.”
Morgan also hopes to host music festivals through Stars & Skaters. “I want to bring people together through music.”
The future producer has eclectic tastes, enjoying hip-hop, heavy metal, classical music and classic rock such as the Beatles as well as Broadway hits.
Morgan was interested in music when, as a seventh-grader, he was named Children’s Miracle Hospitals Champion for the state. Back then, he was singing in the school choir, playing the piano and interested in one day producing music and music videos.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions share their health care journey and represent Children’s of Mississippi and its patients at events such as the Mississippi Miracles Radiothon and other fundraisers like RebelTHON at the University of Mississippi.
“Jordan has been one of the best ambassadors for Children’s of Mississippi,” said Andrew Russell, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals specialist at UMMC. “People gravitate toward Jordan. He can talk to anyone. He’s always willing to share his experiences with others so they have a better understanding of the children’s hospital and its patients.”
Jordan’s care, aimed at giving him greater mobility and improved motor skills, has included the expertise of UMMC and Children’s of Mississippi neurologists, surgeons and physical therapists.
Dr. Amanda Witt, neuromuscular division chief at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, has treated Morgan throughout his childhood.
“Jordan has always been charming and a delight to have in clinic,” she said. “He is quite precocious and started to advocate for himself at a young age to help direct his own medical care. It has been a privilege to watch him grow from a curious and intelligent child to a thoughtful, kind and talented young man.”
Kathryn Cole, dean of enrollment services at Hinds Community College, said she’s proud to add Morgan to this fall’s freshman class.
“He is creative, talented, and driven,” she said. “After having overcome barriers and accomplished so much by his high school graduation, I know he’ll be an inspiration to both Hinds employees and his fellow students.”
All that Morgan’s achieved as an incoming college freshman doesn’t surprise his brother, Dexter.
“Jordan doesn’t let his condition stop him,” he said. “He likes to tell people about his disabilities, so people are aware, and that the world is more accessible for everyone.”