ASU student develops new education project with DeMolay International

One ASU freshman is helping DeMolay members find success in school and professional life

One ASU student is hoping to make a difference in the lives of Arizona youth by attempting to guide them through their academic careers.

Chase Gordon, a freshman at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, is working to serve youth in Arizona by unveiling a 50 page research program titled, "The Youth Development Experience" for the fraternal organization DeMolay International to help students navigate educational transitions from middle school to college and beyond.

Gordon said after talking with college students in DeMolay and serving as International Master Councilor in 2017, he realized that students were missing key information for success in school.

“That’s one of the things DeMolay International is really trying to combat, especially here in Arizona,” Gordon said. “We’re making a lot of steps and a lot of programs that address (gaps) and help give our members a better foundation. We can give them (good) role models and change the way they look at the world.”

Gordon said the program explains to students how to succeed with a three part program through a workbook and PowerPoint presentation. 

"(Students) go from middle school to high school and they're going to get this comprehensive program that explains what the requirements to graduate in Arizona (are and) how should they craft their schedule in order to meet those requirements," Gordon said.

The program also details statistics about youth violence and how students can avoid becoming a statistic and become actively involved in their community. There is also a section for older students on how to have effective interviews and create resumes and cover letters, Gordon said.

"On the 13th of April we're going to be having kids come out for the first time and experience this program in its entirety and hopefully effecting change in their personal lives outside of the (DeMolay) organization," Gordon said.

This program will be debuted at an event held in the DeMolay building in downtown Phoenix for $10, he said. DeMolay members will also take surveys throughout the program to help it improve for the future.

Kenna Flynn, service chair for Changemaker Central on ASU's West campus, said Gordon is also working with ASU's Changemaker Central to improve and restructure the organizational aspects of the West campus program and raise its potential for positively impacting the lives of students on campus.

"He's really good at modeling how to be the best you can be, and he really tries to push people," Flynn said. "He's great at leading program teams."

She said he works to improve the organization through leading by example.

"I believe that Chase is a leader by modeling what the best leadership qualities (are)," Flynn said. "He does it by showing us what to do."

Gordon said one of his main goals for the Changemaker program at West include improving student participation in the organization's day of service, which is every third Saturday.

Bob Laing, a former International Master Councilor, said that Gordon’s leadership and drive from a young age impressed him when Gordon volunteered for an international project while he was on a membership committee.

“(Gordon) did the most work (on the project),” Laing said. “I had dudes that were in college that couldn’t do the work that I was asking them to, and this guy who was in middle school was blowing everybody out of the water. That’s when I became impressed with him, that’s when I started to talk to him more and I knew he had a bright future.”

Gabriel Jones, a past international secretary for DeMolay International, said Gordon is a thorough researcher in projects and knows how to take charge in a group, whether he is working with teenagers or adults.

“He just has that presence about him and that confidence that he knows what he’s doing, because he does,” Jones said. “He goes into (DeMolay) meetings and (DeMolay) calls and he knows the topic. That creates a comfort level for both him and the adults he’s working with because it’s not just some kid they’re talking to.”

Chase Gordon and his older brother, Chandler Gordon, are the only two brothers who have been able to both have served as International Master Councilor in DeMolay International history. 

Laing said Chase Gordon has an innate drive to succeed, but his family also supported him to become the leader he is today.

“I just think it’s his personality type and who he is (that) really led to him achieving everything that he achieved,” Laing said. “But I also think that he had a lot of support, and that’s how he was able to do it. I think he took advantage of (his support) as best he could.”

Gordon said that he hopes to take back his position as director at Changemaker for another academic year and once he leaves his junior staff role when he turns 21 he still plans to continue as an adviser within DeMolay International.

“How can you put a measure on an organization that has given me nine years of their full attention and support and made me who I am today?” Gordon said. “You can’t leave something like that behind when there’s other kids who need the same help and the same type of role models.” 


Reach the reporter at tmlane3@asu.edu and follow @tmflane on Twitter.

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