Jordan Sealey had a special zest for life. He was kind and giving. A homebody, he excelled at being a great son to his parents, Kelly and John Sealey; a supportive big brother to Bradley; and a faithful companion to his many friends.
In May 2013, at the age of 24, Jordan’s life was just beginning to unfold. He was pursuing an associate degree in criminal justice from Forsyth Tech and had just graduated from the college’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program, following in the footsteps of his younger brother, who graduated from the same program a few months earlier. Like Bradley, Jordan was looking forward to becoming a police officer. And Jordan and his fiancée were planning their wedding for the following April.
These dreams came to an end in August 2013 when Jordan lost his life in a tragic accident, shattering his family and friends. But they take solace in an incident that had happened in June, which they now view as prophetic.
Grace In Tragedy
Jordan was sitting at a traffic light when a lady pulled up beside him in her car. She spoke through the windows to the aspiring police officer and said, “You’ve got an angel looking over you. God loves you.” And then she drove off. This encounter provided the grieving Sealey family with some comfort following Jordan’s death – they knew Jordan was protected. They also knew they wanted to honor Jordan by endowing a Forsyth Tech scholarship in his name. The Jordan Sealey Scholarship was established to help support the education of future criminal justice students.
“We wanted Jordan to be remembered for his generosity and this was our way of doing that,” says John.
The decision to endow a scholarship came easily to the Sealeys. Nine members of their extended families – including Kelly, John, and Kelly’s father, Glen Fleeman – collectively spent 65 years working, training and studying at Forsyth Tech.
“This scholarship is not about the money,” Kelly explains. “It’s about how we can help others in the same spirit that Jordan helped the people he knew – and didn’t know.”
While building the endowment, the Sealeys found another way to keep Jordan’s memory alive – they decided to make contributions to the fund once a year, on Jordan’s birthday, December 23.
The first Jordan Sealey Scholarship recipient was Tanner Midkiff, a second-year Criminal Justice student who graduated in May. “This scholarship was a big help to me. It brought my mother’s stress level down and helped me graduate debt-free.” Tanner plans to enter the Highway Patrol Academy in January.
Kelly and John wanted to present Tanner with the first scholarship payment in person, which they did last December 23. The amount of the check was $1,223.88, representing Jordan’s birthday. Over lunch following the check presentation, Kelly and John were amazed to learn how similar Tanner was to Jordan.
“We don’t know how Forsyth Tech did it, but Tanner is genuine and wants to help others and the community – he reminds us so much of Jordan,” says Kelly. “We are thrilled that the first scholarship went to Tanner, and we attended his graduation to meet his mother and two grandmothers.”
When Tanner walked across the stage to receive his diploma in May, Kelly and John discovered one more similarity between Tanner and their son: Tanner’s middle name is Jordan.