by Sarah Einselen
The 2012 high school valedictorian is headed to the Galapagos islands this summer to teach theater arts to children.
Jordan Morning, a 19-year-old former Winamac student now studying theater and telecommunications at Indiana University-Bloomington, leaves June 15 to spend a month on San Cristobal Island in the South American archipelago. He’ll be immersed in the Spanish-speaking culture there while he leads workshops or after-school clubs about drama at local schools or community centers.
“I saw it as a neat opportunity because I could practice my Spanish and have the opportunity to work with kids with theater and share my passion with the younger generation,” said Morning, who recently finished his freshman year at IU. “So it just really appealed to me in that sense.”
The Winamac valedictorian and high-school actor is pursuing a minor in Spanish. His Galapagos trip is arranged through Performing Arts Abroad, an organization with international programs in dance, music and theater.
Morning received a $1,100 grant through Hutton Honors College at IU for the trip and held a fundraiser dinner Saturday at Winamac Church of the Nazarene.
Until he leaves, he’s participating in an internship with WNIT, a public television station in South Bend.
The Galapagos trip represents the chance to pursue two major study areas for Morning.
“I started learning Spanish when I was living up in Hammond” before the third grade, he said. He studied the language all through high school and has continued to do so in college. “I’ve always kind of liked the language.”
And since he dipped his toes into theater as a freshman in high school, he’s pursued it with help from Winamac drama teacher Patrick Schuttrow.
“I owe a lot to my director, Mr. Shuttrow, who really inspired me to go down the theater path — just seeing his passion for it and his work ethic,” Morning said. “It kind of rubbed off on me.”
Morning’s parents, Donald and Teresa Morning, have mostly accustomed themselves to the idea that he’s traveling so far without friends going along with him, said Teresa, though she admitted that she’s still “got some butterflies.”
“He’s very serious, was always very serious about his education,” Teresa said. “I knew early on he was going to be determined to succeed and get as much knowledge as he could.”
To donate toward Morning’s trip, visit www.fundmytravel.com and search for his name. The first search result, “Acting up on an Island,” is his page. The fundraiser ends this week.
Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151.
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