By Joan Ko
From a far distance, you may seem to think that this charming basketball player is an aloof and intimidating boy-next-door. But once he starts talking about his passion in life, a glimmer of light shines through as he shares his journey as an athlete and an Executive Director of a charitable foundation at the age of twenty-two.
Jordan Bartlett is currently a Business Management major at the De LaSalle University while balancing his time as a part of the Green Archers’ basketball team. Ever since he was a kid, he always loved playing basketball despite being involved with a lot of sports. Being in a family of Chicago Bulls fans, he was named after the prominent player Michael B. Jordan as he begins to share with Chalk, “They were watching MJ [Michael Jordan] in the playoffs at the hospital when I was born. According to my parents, my first word was even 'ball!'”
As this short yet eventful story may seem to be the explanation of his destiny, he also shared the secret to maintaining that intense enthusiasm in court, “As a young athlete I definitely looked up to Kevin Durant. There’s a quote he embodies that says ‘hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.’ We came from the same school, so I’ve been a huge supporter of him ever since he graduated. His 'never stop' mentality has taught me to always be the guy who would out-work anyone and everyone.” And through this mindset, he was able to grow as this hard working man who continues to strive for the betterment of his self.
Sports has also taught him a lot about life inside and outside the court. From being able to develop that sense of discipline towards his sport, he also learned the importance of leadership through the help of the meaningful relationships he built around him.
While basketball takes up a huge space in his life as a student, he not only uses it for his self-improvement as an athlete, but also found this as a gateway to help and inspire the people around him. “Basketball gave me the platform I needed to inspire people off the court," he says. "Because of this game, I have a voice and the ability to give back to the underprivileged.”
Together with his friend from his home in the Unites States, they started a non-profit organization that focuses on providing hope with a purpose. “Our goal is to basically run creative outreach [programs] and provide the underprivileged here in the Philippines or abroad in any way or means possible.”
He begins the story on how he accidentally became a part of the international foundation which started two years ago: “A couple years ago, my friend (Robert Banez founder of P.U.S.O.) has raised about $5,000 to do a mission trip here in Manila. Finding out that I was a basketball player here, he wanted to collaborate with me and wanted me to run a basketball camp and use it as the opportunity to give stuff like school supplies, bag packs, food, medicines, and clothing.”
They started running charitable events in the year 2017, and that basically started their non-profit organization which is titled The Purposeful Unconditional Service to Others (P.U.S.O.) Foundation that currently has thousands of followers on Instagram. It is an organization that focuses on helping the underprivileged youth all over the world by truly connecting with them tthrough creative and sports centered events.
Being an Executive Director of the said organization, Jordan never fails to put his best foot forward not just in his sports, but with his advocacy as well. He shares, “There’s a lot more you have to think about when you plan outreach programs nad charity events, and it’s all really fun! You know, people would think that it’s work, but in the end—like seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces—it’s really worth it.” Despite having a busy schedule, he makes sure that he has a secure growth within his academics, sports, and the bright future of P.U.S.O. foundation.
With his growing foundation, he hopes to reach about a 100,000 lives in at least a year and be able to do what he can with the help of the people around him as he relentlessly hopes to help people with one charitable cause at a time. “I want kids to understand [that] when we go out to these outreach programs—and we have the ability to speak in front of them—is that anything that you put your mind to, there is [always] a way to achieve it no matter what your circumstances are.”
Above all the success he experienced at an early age, there is definitely no stopping for this UAAP hunk just yet as he faces the inevitable challenges along the way with nothing but courage and faith in what he believes in.
Photographed by Miguel Alomajan
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Ryuji Shiomitsu
Grooming by Muriel Vega-Perez and team
Video by Lui Jimenez, Produced by Deiniel Cuvin
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