Jordan Coleman

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/art.jordan.jpg

caption="Jordan Coleman, 13, funded the documentary 'Say It Loud' to make a positive impact on his community."]
Jordan’s friends want to be the next Michael Jordan or rap star. But Jordan wants young African-American boys like him to focus on going to college first. Jordan, 13, used the money he made from being a voice-over actor on the Nickelodeon show “The Backyardigans” to get that message across through a documentary.

The 48-minute documentary is called “Say it Loud,” featuring Ludacris, Rev. Al Sharpton and Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker. Jordan says, “We wanted kids who are getting good grades, or men who’ve graduated from college to ‘say it loud,’” Jordan says about the title of his film. “They need to be proud of what they’ve done and make sure they’re sending that message along with being a good athlete or a musician.”

Jordan is trying to show his peers that school is cool. His favorite interview of the movie was Kobe Bryant. “I never knew that his SAT scores were so high. He had such good scores he could’ve gone to any college he wanted to.”

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview

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36 Responses to Jordan Coleman

  1. Evan Ducker says:

    Jordan is a cool kid who is helping to inspire and empower other kids. His movie is such a great resource to encourage students to finish their education!

  2. Latoya Wesley says:

    This is an awesome program that needs to be shown in schools throughout America. I’ve encouraged several children to attend screenings in their respective communities, as the school is cool message echoes the sentiments of the importance of education, which in most cases is discounted by inner city children. Kudos to Jordan Coleman for serving as a young advocate for education for African American boys. Hooray!

  3. Lesvia Y. Castro says:

    Jordan Christopher Coleman is the poster child for kid on the fast track to uber success. At the tender age of 13, he is making an impressive difference with not just his peers, but for all who need to know the importance of education. Not only is he a brilliant kid, but he practices what he preaches. In his film, Say It Loud, he is addressing an issue that has plagued the African American and Latino communities for far too long. In his documentary, you meet noted celebrities in their field, who had a dream, but who knew that their desires would be a dream deferred, had they not pursued an education.

    Say it Loud is a most relevant film, not just for African American and Latino boys, but for the masses, because the mind is a terrible thing to waste!

    SAY IT LOUD YALL
    SAY IT LOUD YALL

    GONNA DO IT, LIKE I DO IT
    GONNA DO IT, LIKE I DO IT

    SAY IT LOUD YALL!!!

  4. brett says:

    why is this specific to african americans and not “Americans” period?

  5. Tony G, KPRS RADIO IN KANSAS CITY says:

    I would like to say congratulations Jordan on all your success. I had the opportunity to interview Jordan a few months ago during his “Say It Loud Film” Tour.. The film is an inspiration for all kids. I have been in radio for over 20 years and met alot of people. I’ve never met anyone that had so much on the ball like Jordan. Jordan is doing some amazing things to be so young. I have to say I was very impressed. Keep up the good work and once again congratulations Jordan on being part of CNN’S Young People Who Rock series.

  6. DeeDee says:

    Sounds like this young man really does rock. At a time when so many African-American boys are dropping out of school it is refreshing to see/ hear that Jordan Coleman is doing his part to encourage them to stay in school. I read about Jordan in Black Enterprise and Jet magazines earlier this month. All I can say is wow!

  7. Jamar E. Seay says:

    This is awesome! I may talk about this on my online tv show “The Jamar Seay Show” on youtube.com

  8. DeniseDenise says:

    I haven’t seen the video but will seek it out.

    I’m always impressed when young people take to the streets with positivity versus negativity.

    The message of being proud is not specific to one group (Brett) and should not have any boundaries.

    Good luck young man!

  9. Jalissa Jones says:

    The Say It Loud film is a great project that should be shown throughout the world, as it sparks interest with regard to the importance of education for African American boys, something that has been taken for granted for quite some time. As it stands, this young man Jordan Coleman is a catalyst of an educational awakening with regard to people of color that will hopefully transform the lives of today’s youth. I salute his directorial debut and look forward to more life changing stories.

  10. mckenzie says:

    I think it should be required viewing for all schools! It is specific to African American youth because the graduation rate is disproportionately low in urban Black communities. Of course, youth culture as a whole is lacking any educational focus. I was having a bad day until I read this. Fighting every day to get inner-city kids on track is tough. As educators, we see the academic apathy of our students first hand. I’ll use this documentary as a resource for my students. Thank you, Jordan!

  11. Doug says:

    I want young White boys to go to college to.

  12. Becky says:

    How refreshing to hear about Jordan spreading the news that school is cool. Knowledge is power, and people listen to those who can stand with confidence and communicate with all people.

    So many young people can’t spell basic words or write a grammatically correct. sentence. When they speak, they ramble and have a hard time communicating their topic.

    Communities unite, to lift up those who work hard to get an education and aspire to be the best they can be. Create a community atmosphere that will tell the bullies, thugs and criminals they have nothing to offer. Hard work and education is where it’s at. When education is the focus in a community, everybody wins.

  13. Kerri says:

    I think it’s great that this young man has accomplished so much through his work and this documentary. However, I am concerned about his usage of Kobe Bryant as a figurehead in his film and ponder if it is conducive to the message being sought. As a woman, and a filmmaker, I am concerned about the lack of education for male sports figures and their distorted perceptions about “fame” vs. “humanity” and the privileges that most male sports figures enjoy while they indulge in excess. Should women feel empowered by this film or is this just a “guy” thing?

  14. nick d says:

    Jordan Coleman is a unique student who has developed leadership skills at a young age. As his social studies teacher this year I observed how students and other members of the community look up to him. He works hard and is somehow able to balance the promotion of his movie while keeping his grades in good standing. That alone inspires other students and teachers as well.

    To answer Brett’s question, I am curious if you have seen Jordan’s movie or read his book. Jordan recognized the statistical high school drop out rate and wanted to donate most of his free time to reach these students through his movie and book. While he acknowledges certain cultural issues in regards to education, Jordan’s movie and book is relevant to all young Americans. Students will benefit greatly from reading his book and watching his movie.

  15. Amany says:

    Awee , dhass jordan ! We’ree so proud of you jordan : ) Dhaat documentry was amazingg & ialso thinkk dhaat all peoplee need to knoee dhaat dheey shouldd go to college & tryy dheree hardest . Jordan , you aree youngg & youu do rock . lolol . &ndd ireally think yeer makingg a changee &ndd peoplee aree actually listenin to youu . iLoveYouu_x33 !

  16. Briana* says:

    OMG! i’ve known jordan since we were both in elementary school. He was always a nice friend to everyone. To see him elevating to the top by doing big things is amazing. Not just positive things for himself but for others to. Also the fact that were all going into highschool this year,the positive message that his making for others will probable even change people in highschool. im glad to have a good friend like Jordan doing great things in his life. Keep up the good work J. ily =)

  17. david says:

    Say it loud is awesome! Jordan came to my school and he is so cool. He encouraged me to do well in school and now I am doing my best in school. Thanks Jordan you are the BEST!

  18. maggie doyne says:

    Jordan is one of the most genuine guys i know… with a heart of gold! You do ROCK and this world is a better place with you on it!

  19. Darryl L. Avery says:

    Dear, Jordan Coleman aka ‘”aim”
    I am very proud of you.You have demonstrated that at a young and tender age many bright things can happen for a person.You have inspired many children as well as many adults. It has been a pleasure working with you and talking to such a gifted and talented young man.I will always remember you in my time of need when i was down.Continue to work hard and be sucessful and I am here for you anytime.

    respectfully yours

    Darryl L. Avery

  20. Mrs. Slack says:

    Jordan,
    You are an inspiration to all. I see good things ahead for you. Keep up the good work and continue to pursue your passions. Your love for life and your concern for others can be contagious ;-)

  21. Julia Shaw says:

    Jordan:
    We are all so proud of you! The movie is awesome and we must get it in the hands of as many young black boys, in addtion to boys of all cultures and races .Keep up the great work!

    All the Best!

  22. josh says:

    bravo Jordan!

  23. Knockout says:

    I still ponder that the support is being generated by those close to the young director and protecting him from within the industry. Answer this, how is it that Kobe Bryant is a role model for young students? He has acquired great success as have many through sports, but where do you women in their aspirations gather hope from this? Mia Hamm, Lisa Leslie, Kerri Walsh? Women cannot make the money that the men make even if they have a PHD playing basketball or frisbee. So what is your response, what is it that this film can inspire, men, black men, white, yellow, what about other sources? I wonder where women lie, as a whole, in this distorted agenda. Really.

  24. Marvelyn Brown says:

    Go Jordan! Go Jordan! You Rock! Oh, what the heck, WE ROCK!

  25. Pierce Hibma says:

    I work at a Boys & Girls Club in Omaha, NE that serves predominentely African Americans and the “Say It Loud” campaign is exactly what many youth need. Many students shy away from excelling in class because it is not excepted by their peers. So Jordan – I need to know – how can I get spread the “Say It Loud” message here in Omaha, NE?
    http://HSSSblog.com

  26. Leo says:

    Jordan:
    I am doing my PhD but you just inspired me big time! That is just increadible! I wish you the very best and if i can do anything to help inspire other under-privileged youth, call on me any day!

    Leo

  27. Double jeopardy says:

    Who is corrupting the youth?
    Hey there young people do you know whose corrupting you and whose brain washing you? Could it be the new administration that looks to undermine the safety and the security of the world? This is dangerous times and the poison that is being fed to you is dangerous. Question things and do not trust this administration.
    President Obama is a good man but is surrounded by greedy men who have their own interests at heart. Unfortunately, he is a puppet on a string.
    Former President George Bush is and always will be remembered as the Protector. When previous Presidents left the door open for harm, President Bush slammed danger in its face.
    keep the respect for the troops that have sacrificed their lives and who paid for the freedom and peace and democracy with their blood and do not let stupid and evil men who only look to dishonor a good man for their own benefit. Wake up kids, its a scary world out there.

  28. Brian says:

    I think that Jordan has a great idea, and is doing great things. I think that today’s youth needs to be reached by people closer to their age. We can relate to them more. Keep it up Jordan

  29. Peyton says:

    I agree!!

  30. Bob the Builder says:

    I would take basketball first

  31. Tater-tot says:

    hi,
    y r u only helping young african boy’s and not young african girls i am sort-of affended : (

  32. bob the builder says:

    I LOVE BACKYARDIGANS

  33. Puffy says:

    I think that you are doing/have done some thing that you should be really proud of you for promoting education!!!!!!!!:) :)

  34. Michael King Jr. says:

    This film is much needed. I need u to come to my school in DC. I am a school counselor at Maya Angelou Middle School. Our students need to see images of young people that value education. You would be surprised how most of my students hate school. Although we try
    to make learning fun by building relationships, activities, & differential instruction.

  35. Black baby: the coolest young person ever. says:

    the mind is a terrible thing to waste…
    Many people who say this do not know that learning is futility if it does not change a person.
    2. if it does not create an even greater positive change as it can…
    3. worse so if it cannot put good food on the table, for one person, for the family, and better the lot for the world. The mind is not wasted not only when it is not fed, but when little gain comes out of it. Educate your mind, but use it to create wealth if not, it is an information loss…

  36. Jesse says:

    i go to school with him so proud that one of my peers from hackensack new jersey would actually make cnn

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