Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 1, 2019

Jordan Napier

Senior Spotlight: First-Gen High School and College Student Jordan Napier

Mackenzie Kopplin


Growing up, MU senior Jordan Napier was not a kid that people believed would find great success. He didn’t get the best grades, his school attendance record was poor, and his discipline was lacking. However, he was the first in his family to graduate from high school and now he is a stone’s throw away from graduating college.

While attending Manchester University, Napier participated in wrestling all four years; Theater Society this current year, where he acted as “Artie,” a Mafia member, in the student-run production “Down the Street”; and he also volunteered for Walk into My Future for four years. Napier grew up in the east side of Indianapolis, IN. He moved to the South side during middle school. His high school career was not simple; not only did he have his own personal worries, but he also had outside factors that complicated his life.

“I moved from Warren Township to Perry Township in seventh grade and the transition was rough,” Napier said. “The one noticeable difference between the schools was the culture.” Warren Township is a predominantly African American school district while Perry isn’t.

“Because of this I was picked on frequently because I didn’t talk or act like the other students,” Napier said. “Kids told me that I dressed ‘ghetto’ and I talked like I was black.” He overcame this struggle but living in poverty still held him back.  Poverty is an obstacle that can be hard to overcome for students especially if the situation is bad. Napier’s journey was not easy. He has had no contact with his father in at least 10 years and his mother is still homeless and without a job.

“Right after I graduated from Perry Meridian in 2015, we lost our house,” Napier stated. “For the next month I lived in my car and did what I needed to do to get by. Then one of my friends from high school took me in and I still live with him.” Napier took a year off of school to stay home and work. He says that many people never believed he would have the desire to go to college at all. However, he not only attended college, but he is set to get his Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies with a minor in business in the near future.

What is his biggest motivation? “Wrestling has always been my passion and being able to continue to compete keeps me going,” he said. “I also do anything I can to make my mom happy. When she’s happy, I’m happy.” Napier’s wrestling career at Manchester has been solid. Last year his record was 37-5 and he was also a National Qualifier. Napier is hopeful that another winning season is approaching, and he is putting in the work to achieve his goals.

Once Napier graduates from Manchester he plans to create an innovative business called InnerSmile. He hopes to use this company to give back to school corporations by partnering with businesses to create fun but also educational events. These events would look something like Manchester’s Walk into My Future, but with community involvement instead of college student volunteers. He plans to raise money at these events to give back to school corporations in order to help them in any means that they need to help further students’ academic careers.

This idea is a work in progress for him, but he is very passionate and determined to build a successful not-for-profit organization. He plans to get a job to make money to build a start-up for his company once leaving MU.