People Like Me: Jordan Mathews

An Example of True Determination, Wisdom, and Resilience

Jordan Mathews graduated in May with a degree in Kinesiology – Health & Physical Education. She began graduate studies at The Ohio State University for a Masters in Sports Coaching on a fully funded fellowship. She served as the Vice President of Membership for the CHSE Ambassadors and earned recognition on the LSU President’s Honor Roll. It is safe to assume Jordan worked hard to achieve her goals, but when you get to know her you discover her true determination, wisdom, and resilience.

Photo of Jordan MathewsJordan’s ethnic background is Native American and Hispanic. “Both cultures are beautiful and have empowering histories that mean so much to me. I was not raised with either culture in my home since I am adopted, but my parents always supported me in discovering my heritage," said Mathews.

She was blessed to grow up in Corpus Christi where the Hispanic culture is rich, and while at LSU she learned more about her Native American heritage through the Native American Student Organization (NASO). As a member of NASO she assisted in events to raise awareness of the culture and the significance of preserving the campus Indian Mounds. Her diverse background helped shape her into the woman she is today.

Jordan began searching for a degree program that would allow her to pursue her dream of coaching men’s Division I collegiate basketball. She envisioned spending her collegiate years in Texas, but no program stood out until her dad casually mentioned LSU one night. While investigating LSU she landed upon the School of Kinesiology's Health & Physical Education program. Coincidentally, the very next day, Jordan received a letter of interest from LSU. She considered this a sign to apply. When she attended Kickoff LSU she realized she had found her home.

Her true passion is working with athletes and encouraging them to not only become better players, but better people. This stems from a lifetime of pushing herself to excel. Jordan's adoptive parents provided the childhood experience everyone deserves. Her parents and siblings have supported her throughout her journey. Her birth mother's struggle with substance abuse caused Jordan to suffer with childhood seizures, ear problems, and cataracts. She believes it is a true miracle to not only have survived those health scares, but to be the able-bodied healthy person she is today. The physical health ailments, however, were only a portion of the pain she experienced as a young woman. It was emotionally difficult for Jordan to accept the decisions her birth parents made to not be involved in her life, but she states that nothing good comes from living in anger and resentment.

“I am not a victim of circumstance, but a product of my own decisions.” 




Photo of Roland Mitchell, Jordan Matthews, and Renee Boutte Myer.Jordan knows she has grown and overcome her past, but life can throw a curveball at any moment. Just a week before the spring semester, Jordan found herself dealing with the unexpected death of her sister. When reflecting on the initial shock of her sister’s passing, she said, “a big part of me wanted to quit school and stay home with my family. I thought it was important to take time to grieve. But, deep down, I wanted to finish my senior year at LSU to fulfill my dream. I wanted it for me, but for my family too.” The semester was far from easy, but she wouldn't let one bad thing define the rest of her life.

Her resilience and courage through tough times is what earned Jordan the scholarship to her dream graduate school. She wants people to know “you are much stronger than you think, and you are so much more than the bad things that happen to you.”

Looking back on her journey, Jordan would advise her younger self to “take more time to appreciate and enjoy the moment you’re in…find the balance between hard work and responsibilities and having the time to relax and enjoy life.” 

As for Jordan’s future, she knows with the support of her friends, family, and her faith, she will end up exactly where she needs to be. Overall, Jordan is proud of the woman she is and is grateful for the experiences she has had at LSU, especially those she made as a CHSE Ambassador. As a naturally shy and quiet person, Jordan has been able to develop her confidence, leadership skills, and professionalism as an ambassador. These skills will most certainly translate to the basketball court as she works with athletes throughout her career.