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By Jennifer Shields

Although a native of Minnesota, Jordan Mahoney is no stranger to Mississippi. Mahoney initially moved to Jackson, but in the sixth grade, she moved to the nearby suburb of Ridgeland.

Mahoney attends Ridgeland High school, where she will be a sophomore this year. Mahoney describes herself as “a fun-loving girl that enjoys baking, watching Netflix, drinking Starbucks and editing videos.” Mahoney currently lives with her mother, Wendy Mahoney, who helps her manage her battle with anxiety and depression. Accordingly, Mahoney says her mother is her greatest influence.

The 15-year-old is still undecided on her future major. She is inclined toward a career as an anesthesiologist or as a therapist. Mahoney considers being a therapist because she “loves listening to people, analyzing people and is curious about the human thought process.” Mahoney also considered anesthesiology because a character playing an anesthesiologist on “Grey’s Anatomy” inspired her.

Mahoney considers her biggest challenge to be focusing on something and completing it; however, she has joined the Youth Media Project for a second year. Mahoney rejoined YMP because she felt that “it was a good program to express how you feel.”

“If you have any issues with the media, this program really gives you the opportunity to do something,” she said of YMP. Even though Mahoney does not live in Jackson, she feels certain issues could be taken care of such as the streets, media and Mississippi as a whole. In her opinion, problems also need to be resolved between the people of Mississippi, while also trying to solve Jackson’s problems.

Mahoney, however, did not make it this far with her mother alone. Her sister Courtney moved to Mississippi as well, but her other sister Destiny remained in Louisiana. Mahoney is the youngest of her two sisters, with both of them in their twenties. Courtney has two children, making her an aunt. It is pretty cool being the youngest, she said, because she feels like an only child. She says her family is a small bunch and can sometimes be dysfunctional, but are always loving and supportive.