Never Alone: Jordan’s HEROS Journey

Mar 13, 2023 | News

When Jordan first put on a HEROS jersey eight years ago, she admits that she didn’t even know how to skate. Amazingly, it wasn’t long before the HEROS Winnipeg player found herself facing the Great One.

“Wayne Gretzky stood in the goal, and I got a slap shot on him,” said Jordan. “I’ve never been more excited to get a goal.”

Meeting and skating with a hockey legend while participating in the 2016 NHL Heritage Classic in Winnipeg has become one of her most cherished stops on what has been a memorable HEROS path.

“I don’t know where I’d be without HEROS,” said Jordan, who is now a 16-year-old All-Star. “They gave me the opportunity to learn and play hockey when I couldn’t. They gave me a place to go when I was struggling. They taught me so much about respect and responsibility that I didn’t even consider.”

HEROS is driven by a team of over 200 volunteer mentors across Canada who deliver crucial programming to young people facing extreme barriers in their everyday lives. Using hockey to drive positive change, HEROS volunteers create an inclusive and welcoming environment, where players learn important life skills and feel empowered as they find their way through their own unique journeys.

Off the ice, like many of her teammates across the country, Jordan has faced day-to-day obstacles. A true HERO, Jordan doesn’t let challenges define her. Over the years, she has learned to lean on her HEROS teammates, coaches and mentors, who have provided her with tools to continue to work hard and achieve her goals. In her most challenging moments she has turned to the positive experience of HEROS for comfort.

“I love to put my headphones on and picture being on the ice. Hockey was always my escape, my joy in life. I love it,” said Jordan.

Now, she is looking forward to trying out for her high school hockey team and sharing her experience with younger HEROS as they join the program.

As part of a player’s path through HEROS, they’re given the responsibility to mentor their younger peers as they begin their own journeys through the program. All-Stars like Jordan take Future Stars under their wing, helping build their mentee’s confidence and self-worth, while sharing the lessons they’ve learned through HEROS along the way.

“I’ve been taught skills by people I got close to in the program,” said Jordan. “I got taught hockey skills and now get to teach those skills to other kids.”

Jordan’s first piece of advice to her younger teammates as they lace up their skates for the first time is simple, “Once a HERO, always a HERO. We’re all here to support you and help you become the best player and person you can be. You’re never alone and us HEROS will always have your back.”

HEROS is lucky to have such a thoughtful and determined young person like you on the team, Jordan. Thank you for your dedication to your teammates, and for sharing your experiences with the next generation of HEROS.

Learn more about volunteering with HEROS and how you can make an impact on the lives of HEROS just like Jordan today by clicking here.