One high school scholar athlete from Miami-Dade County who recently won a prestigious award hopes to use sports to empower fellow female athletes.
Jordan Bryant, the captain of the girls cross country and flag football teams at Hialeah Gardens Senior High School, was recently named one of 30 winners of the distinguished Silver Knight Award.
The award, a honor that has gone to many influential leaders in the local community and around the world, was given out recently out from more than 600 nominees in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Bryant was recognized for her efforts in the community that include Goals 4 Girls, a 10-week program working with a handful of female athletes in both group and individual settings. It came from a young woman who said sports are in her DNA.
“I really enjoy the atmosphere, I really like competing,” Bryant said. “It’s something I really enjoy doing and I want to keep doing for a very long time. I’ve had that foundation from a very young age.”
Bryant believes communication skills and confidence are her strengths. She noticed that not all girls are taught leadership skills at a young age - so, she jumped right in.
“I want to show these girls there is so much more to sports than just getting out there on the field and playing,” she said. “There’s leadership, there’s you connecting with your team. So, I really wanted to take the opportunity to create that safe space for them to understand and develop their leadership skills.”
The three-time MVP in her various sports began reaching out to coaches at her school, explaining her early vision.
“It would be a conversation between them because I feel like that’s the best way to understand how someone is feeling and conversing with someone about what they want to improve on,” Bryant said.
The vision she had starting in middle school and implemented her sophomore and junior years of high school was shown by data to be working. Girls took both before and after surveys and Jordan followed up with their coaches.
“I just felt like I needed to take every little thing into account when it came to me seeing how they improve.”
Jordan’s love of sports comes from her dad, James – who just happens to be her school’s flag football coach.
“Hey, I’m just Jordan’s dad now,” Bryant said. “She used to be Coach Bryant’s daughter, now I’m just Jordan’s dad.”
He’s seen her impact first hand and can see the change in the women involved.
“To actually see their change, knowing my daughter had something to do with it, she’s a chip off the old block,” he said.
Jordan will go on to study business and engineering next fall at the University of Florida, where she will continuing to play flag football. For her, the sky is the limit.
“I would love to work in the NFL,” she hinted. “Maybe you’ll see me as a head coach one day.”
Bryant may be small, but she’s standing tall.
“I realize that they go and continue the cycle of women empowerment. The strength that you develop in leadership and sports,” she said. “So, even if I talk to one particular girl, she’s going to another girl and explaining those skills, showcasing what a leader is. So another girl can see it happening and they’re like, wow, I can do this too. I just want the cycle to continue as much as possible.”
Jordan hopes to continue Goals 4 Girls when she gets to Gainesville and hopes empowering women can continue around the world.
“I want to continue those trail blazers, continue to show people we can do this,” Bryant added. “You don’t have to count us out, you can’t count us out anymore because we’re always going to be here to stay.”