Brownsville Teacher Issues SOS For Student Trip To Japan

Students from Frederick Douglass Academy VII, hoping to go abroad to Japan this year. Photo Credit Parris Whittingham.

For some people, New York City, is all they’ve ever known, but for Bijoun Eric Jordan, a teacher in Brownsville, he refuses to let that be an option for students in his classroom.

Mr. Jordan from Frederick Douglass Academy VII, with students hoping to go abroad to Japan this year. Photo Credit Parris Whittingham.

Mr. Jordan, a teacher at Frederick Douglass Academy VII, 226 Bristol Street , is hoping to inspire and expand the minds of possibility and knowledge on 17 scholars from the student body this year with a week-long trip to Japan.

“One of the goals of the trip is to show people that black people travel everywhere, we belong everywhere, that we can go everywhere, ” said Jordan.

However, the trip currently hangs in the balance as the group still needs about $11,000 to reach their goal of $58,570 to be ready before their planned trip from July 2 through July 9.

Jordan is hoping to be able to raise the last bit of funds in the coming weeks with help from the local community and elected officials. So far the group, with an initial injection of $595 from each student, has raised $46,890 in the past three months.

Brownsville is one of the most economically impoverished neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and sees some of the highest rates of incarcerations across the city.

“If we are not able to fully fund the trip then there are students who are currently registered to go, that will have to be removed from it. So there’s a lot at stake here,” said Jordan.

The trip will include a seven-day itinerary filled with historical and cultural exposure and exchanges. This learning abroad initiative is part of an ongoing life mission for Jordan, who believes that the access and opportunity can be achieved by anyone.

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville) applauded Jordan’s efforts, highlighting the need for more educators like him.

“In this day and age it truly takes a village, so I commend Mr. Jordan for going above and beyond to bring his students to Japan. I’m so grateful for teachers like Mr. Jordan that take that extra step which will have a tremendous impact in these students lives,” said Walker.

This is the school’s second attempt to take a group of teens out of the country. In 2017, Jordan took the very first group of students to Spain, when he first thought of the idea to crowdfund a school trip, as he reminisced about his past trip to Spain in college. The goal of the initiative is to do 6 continents in 6 years.

“I’ve had students come up to me and tell me since the trip, that they can see themselves living abroad. I do imagine these students come back to their homes as ambassadors for life abroad. Their known in a different kind of way, they are seen in a different kind of way. For these kids, just being able to say, that ‘I’ve been to Spain’ is a big deal,” concluded Jordan.

To donate to the trip, check out the Go Fund Me page here.