In Luke's Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples to give without
hesitation - that if they see a need, they should try to meet
that need: "If a man borrows your coat, give him your shirt
as well," (Lk 6:30). Jordan Kijewski, a senior at Paul VI
Catholic High School in Fairfax, lives the example Jesus
described by recognizing the needs of others and trying to
meet them - all while attaining excellence in academics,
sports and extracurriculars.
The list of her senior year responsibilities is staggering:
editor-in-chief of the yearbook; president of both Big
Brothers/Big Sisters and model judiciary; executive board of
student ambassadors. During her freshman year, Kijewski took
first place in microbiology at the school science fair. In
the following years, her high grades earned her membership in
the National Honor Society and the National Association of
High School Scholars.
When she arrives on the grounds of the University of Virginia
in the fall, she will continue her family's legacy of
learning and is considering pre-law. Her older sister,
Lindsey, graduated from UVA, and sister, Danielle, studied at
Harvard and Oxford.
"At home, my parents were constantly encouraging my sisters
and me to do our best," said Kijewski. "That's what I tried
to do during my time at Paul VI."
A true scholar-athlete, Kijewski made her mark in track and
field. "During my sophomore and first year on the team, I
only ran," she said. "However, Coach Hutson wanted me to try
I began competing in both long and triple
jumps. The technique was difficult to learn and still
challenges me today."
In only her second year of jumping, Kijewski hit 35 feet in
the triple jump - not only a personal best but also enough to
win the gold medal at the Virginia Catholic Schools State
Beyond her personal accomplishments, Kijewski has made it a
point to try to meet the needs of others.
"I have always heard around my home that I should always try
to 'give back' whenever I am able," she said.
As a freshman, she joined Student Ambassadors and Big
Brothers/Big Sisters, both of which aim to welcome students
new to the school. But Kijewski wanted to reach out even
"At the end of my sophomore year, (Paul VI pastoral
counselor) Mrs. (Denyse) Kline and I, among others, discussed
the possibility of helping students who were faced with
adversity," she said. "By the beginning of my junior year,
FISH - Friends Inviting Sharing Healing - was born and soon
Through regular lunch meetings and prayer services, FISH
provides a place for students who feel left out or are going
through difficult times.
"Until this group came along, I had no idea how many friends
at school needed someone to talk to," Kijewski said. "Having
such a channel through which teenagers can communicate has
been a win-win situation for everyone involved.
"We are not counselors - just friends who provide an extra
layer of support wherever it is needed," she said.
Kijewski is sentimental about leaving Paul VI but feels
well-prepared for college. She said she has just begun to
appreciate "what being a member of the Catholic community
"My faith has become more than going to church with my family
every Sunday," she said. "It has become incorporated into
every aspect of my life and something I truly believe I could
not live without."
Witko can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.