If you spent one minute on campus anytime in the last four years, chances are you would have met Jordan. Graduating senior, photo editor for the Jag Journal, and friendly face in the hallways, Jordan Gill-Donahoe makes everyone feel welcomed and accepted. His presence makes Segerstrom High School a community and a family. Fellow Jag Journal staff members, like web editor Avery Ngo (10), appreciates Jordan’s participation in the program.
“Jordan definitely brought character into our class. His unique and kind personality is something we will all miss.”
Jordan’s reach goes beyond the classroom and Segerstrom students. Over the years, Jordan connected with teachers, staff members, counselors, the administration, and club advisors. A source of pride for Jordan is Rainbow Jags, previously known as Segerstrom’s Gay-Straight Alliance. This year’s club advisor, David Rhodes, a mathematics teacher new to Segertrom’s campus this year, shares what makes Jordan so unique.
“Upon entering the Rainbow Jags I could tell Jordan was something special. Displaying high energy, deep empathy, and a passion for photography and equal rights for all people. Jordan has a tremendous capacity to care for others, feel deeply, and is driven to not merely survive, but thrive. All of these shape a person into being more than human, rather a force of nature that deserves respect.”
This force of nature that Mr. Rhodes describes is a real phenomenon. Jordan’s dedication to journalistic work has allowed him to create opportunities for himself and the Jag Journal. This school year, Jordan photographed and covered then-presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, when he held a rally at Valley High School last February (“The Pros Know“). Jordan saw an opportunity as a local high school journalist to cover this story. Through circumstance and Jordan’s ability to connect with people, Jordan was given a press pass and was ushered into the press area like a professional. Jordan proves that doors open for those who can find the handle.
“After being in journalism, I discovered that I have a passion for the news and reporting honest stories to people who need to know.”
Whether Jordan writes an article about a political event or takes photos for a photojournalism project (“Living in an Empty World“), Jordan’s passion for reporting is clear. Jordan wants to provide the audience with factual information that encourages thinking and reflecting.
“The article that I wrote that I was proudest of is my article about the spread of misinformation that happened at the army/navy football game, and how it was believed that the cadets were throwing white power symbols. I am the proudest of this article because it shows the differences in what adults believe versus what people of my generation believe.”
Having Jordan’s unique voice made the staff better. Co-editor-in-chief, Alexa Perez (11), worked closely with Jordan this year as the Jag Journal worked under a new advisor and transitioned to an online format.
“Jordan is incredibly talented. He took such great photos and will definitely have a great future in whatever he does.”
Despite this tumultuous school year ending, Jordan looks forward to life post-graduation. Jordan has decided to enlist in the military and is currently making preparations to leave for training. It is no surprise that Jordan is seeking new experiences to broaden his understanding of the world. It is also no surprise that the words Jordan lives by are, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” This is a good attitude to take considering these unpredictable times and if Jordan is one thing, it is tough, which is a characteristic that will serve Jordan well in the future.
The Jag Journal staff wishes Jordan nothing but success on this journey through life. We know that Jordan will not only make it but will accomplish exceptionally cool and interesting things along the way, too. Congratulations, Jordan!