Blythe receives MLK Youth I Have a Dream Award

2018+Youth+%22I+have+a+Dream%22+award+winner%2C+Jordyn+Blythe+expressed+gratitude+to+her+family+and+community+in+her+speech.++%E2%80%9CI%27ve+always+been+aware+that+I+am+a+very+fortunate+person+and+I+want+to+use+what+I+have+to+better+the+life+of+others%2C%22+Blythe+said.+
2018 Youth

2018 Youth "I have a Dream" award winner, Jordyn Blythe expressed gratitude to her family and community in her speech. “I've always been aware that I am a very fortunate person and I want to use what I have to better the life of others," Blythe said.

Photo courtesy of Jordyn Blythe

Photo courtesy of Jordyn Blythe

2018 Youth "I have a Dream" award winner, Jordyn Blythe expressed gratitude to her family and community in her speech. “I've always been aware that I am a very fortunate person and I want to use what I have to better the life of others," Blythe said.

Natalie Thomison, Reporter

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Senior Jordyn Blythe was one of two Bloomington-Normal high school students honored with the Youth “I Have a Dream” award in January. This honor is given to students who embody the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., dedicating themselves to the betterment of the community and its relations.

Nominations for the award are submitted to the City of Bloomington-Normal where the Human Relations Commission review the nominees and select a winner. Blythe was nominated for the award by her father, Marcel Blythe.

Like Dr King, Jordyn radiates compassion, courage, and truth in everything she does,” M. Blythe said. “She embodies a service first attitude while supporting those who need her help the most. She gives because it’s in her nature.”

Blythe, who has been nominated for the honor every year since 2014, was delighted to receive the phone call that she had been selected as the 2018 winner of the Youth I Have a Dream award.

“I felt so blessed to be honored by something to remember Dr. King. It is really wonderful to think that I contribute to a legacy he has left behind,” Blythe said.

Blythe was honored at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards luncheon on Saturday January 20, 2018 at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. Upon receiving her award, Blythe gave an acceptance speech to family, friends, teachers, and community members. Dr. Bob Fitzgerald was one of three U-High teachers invited to the event.

“I think Jordyn, as student body president, is a great leader by example. She sees the world through other people’s eyes,” Fitzgerald said. “I was honored and humbled for Jordyn to invite [me]. It was a great experience to see people in the community who care about Dr. King’s legacy.”

Blythe’s passion for community service began at the age of ten. Her participation in the Bloomington-Normal March of Dimes walk inspired her to become involved in community outreach projects.

“I remember being so touched by all of the families there and wanting to do more,” Blythe said. “Being able to see all of those people passionate about the same cause made me want to be more engaged in the community at large.”

Blythe is the CEO and co-founder of Serve Plus One, a non-profit organization designed to encourage student leadership. She is also the co-founder of the Black Student Union at U-High, a club dedicated to educating students about black life and culture.

“[Black Student Union] co-founder Jade Fung and I thought that black students needed a space to discuss issues they might face in the community or at U-High,” Blythe said. “Since the initial founding, it’s morphed into an educational opportunity for all students.”

In addition to her AP classes and involvement in extracurricular groups such as National Honor Society and the U-High speech team, Blythe regularly volunteers for organizations such as Jack and Jill of America, The Children’s Discovery Museum, Home Sweet Home Ministries, and Homes of Hope.

“I’m most proud of how well rounded she is,” M. Blythe said. “She lends her support to everyone regardless of their affiliation. This [award] is very special because it is based upon a culmination of good she has contributed to the community over the past four years.”

Blythe’s heart for the community and commitment to improving its human relations has had a profound impact on both the city of Bloomington-Normal and U-High, inspiring students to be courageous and selfless.

“Jordyn is never afraid to speak her mind and she is very compassionate in terms of how she engages with others,” Fitzgerald said. “Students can learn from Jordyn how to be sincere and think of others before themselves.”

Blythe is grateful to her parents for instilling in her the desire to give back from a very young age and to her teachers for inspiring her to be a stronger leader at school.

“I’ve always been aware that I am a very fortunate person and I want to use what I have to better the life of others,” Blythe said. “Being able to give back in whatever way keeps me humble and reminds me there is always work to be done.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Blythe receives MLK Youth I Have a Dream Award”

  1. Lauren Dubravec on February 27th, 2018 10:52 am

    I love Jordyn and I love this article. What an amazing human!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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