Jordan Dillard is home for Easter break, spending time with family before graduating this May from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. She will be headed to Africa in the fall where she will start her one-year fellowship with the Boston-based Shooting Touch Foundation. Through the foundation’s Basketball Health Corps program, fellows endeavor to use basketball as a tool to educate and empower at-risk youths and the communities in which they live.
Dillard will be part of a team based in Rwanda where they will construct basketball courts, build teams and train coaches to run Rwanda’s first and only free youth league for girls and boys. According to Shooting Touch, 67 percent of Rwandans are under the age of 25 striving to rebuild after the 1994 genocide. Health Corps fellows will also work with local coaches to teach youths about various aspects of health and sanitation.
Dillard, a senior on the women’s basketball team at Villanova University, was one of two students to win the fellowship. Her YouTube video application generated over 2,000 views, more than any of the other applicants combined.
“I’m really nervous now that I got it. It’s mostly excitement-nervousness that this is really happening, but I am extremely grateful for the opportunity,” said Dillard.
The journey to Rwanda—over 7,000 miles from her home in Conyers—will be the farthest distance she has ever traveled.
Jordan Dillard’s father, Courtney Dillard, said he and his wife are pleased with Jordan’s achievement and he thanked the community for helping her get the hits she needed to win the video competition.
“We’re extremely proud of Jordan and all of her accomplishments. The doors of opportunity that continuously open for her are amazing, and we are so excited to be here for her as she embarks on yet another extraordinary milestone in her life. We know that God is ordering her steps and we have peace as goes to off to serve in Africa,” said Courtney Dillard.