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When we think of 11-year-old girls and their mothers, the first things that come to mind may be tutus, soccer games, kitchen science experiments and crazy photo faces. There’s a special bond between young girls and their moms before life fills up with more demanding schoolwork, career choices and the stress of being a grown-up.
For Jordan Phillips, recently honored by the Barron Prize, taking on adult emotions came sooner than expected. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when Jordan was 11 years old. The thought of losing her mother at such a young age must have been troubling for Jordan. But instead of waiting out the process on the sidelines, Jordan decided to join the fight against cancer so that other kids wouldn’t have to experience the angst she was going through. But how do you help when you are only 11 years old?
Jordan loves to sew. She wanted to make something to sell but also advertise the need to help. While trying to piece together a solution, she hit upon the ubiquitous coffee cup. Everybody seems to be on the go in the morning with their cup of take-out joe. So Jordan designed a coffee cup sleeve and created her nonprofit Cozys for the Cure. It was a hit. Today, Jordan has raised over $120,000 to help fund breast cancer research.
It all started with a desire to help. Each of us has the ability to make a difference, to pitch in, no matter how old or how young. “Cozys for the Cure has taught me that my passion and purpose lie in helping others,” says Jordan. “I’m excited to continue this project for years to come and to focus my career on leading companies that address social problems and create change.”
Jordan’s mother won her fight with cancer, but unfortunately, many more women and mothers will be affected. With kids like Jordan in their corner, perhaps the next best treatment will come a little sooner, save a few more lives, and mean mothers and daughters will have a little more time to have fun together.
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