Bright Future: Cathedral graduate knows what it means to be leader
NATCHEZ — Most people are taught what good leadership looks like while others, such as Jordan Murray — a 2019 Cathedral High School graduate — possess a natural ability to stand out among their peers.
Murray, the daughter of Anthony and Miracle Murray, was selected with a group of 70 to 80 students statewide for the Lucky Day scholarship at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Students selected to be a Lucky Day scholar demonstrate that they possess the unique characteristics of leadership through an extensive application process, Murray said.
“The screening process was very hard and selective,” Murray said. “… The Lucky Day scholarship is a really big part of USM and focuses on service, leadership and character. … It’s based on how you stand out as a person, and you have to add something extra to your community. … They look for people who are leaders and who serve others. … You have to live up to the name.”
By the time she graduated at Cathedral, Murray said she accumulated over 246 hours of community service and continues to build on that with 10 service hours each semester at USM.
Murray said she learned even the best leaders can be made better as she takes a special class required for the Lucky Day scholars that teaches what it means to be a leader at USM.
Murray was offered more than $90,000 in scholarship opportunities, including an ACT scholarship, the Junior Auxiliary award and the Isaiah Harris Memorial scholarship and was offered a full scholarship to Jackson State University — which she turned down to attend USM.
At Cathedral, Murray said she spent countless hours applying for every scholarship she could in advance while her instructors helped her revise her applications and essays again and again on top of her daily school work.
“The way I look at it is: you can choose to take a nap or choose to build yourself as a person,” Murray said. “… I put a lot of emphasis and work into the actual application process — and what you put into it is what you get out of it.”
Murray said she was heavily involved in clubs and organizations as well as in her academic studies and served as the secretary for the Key Club and Student Government Association and the Vice President of the National Honor Society.
Murray said she is studying biology with an emphasis on biomedical sciences and hopes to practice anesthesiology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field, but I didn’t want to be the usual nurse or doctor,” Murray said. “Anesthesiology had something special about it. … It offers something new every day. … I love not the surprise but the diversity of it. I’ve watched medical videos and it can be really exciting and hectic — and I like being under pressure.”