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SCPBA Scholarship Recipient Jordan Lester

 

By Katharine Jefcoats

 

Not many will argue that college is expensive.

 

With school loans becoming a political football with drama on both sides, South Carolina student Jordan Lester said he is grateful for scholarship assistance. The marketing major is studying at Anderson University in South Carolina.

 

Scholarship winner Jordan Lester at his high school graduation ceremony

 

“There are many people going to college these days and are paying for it years down the line,” he said. “I am grateful for the Police Benevolent Foundation investing in the new generation of students.”

 

Lester is eligible for the scholarship through his dad, Spartanburg sheriff’s Deputy First Class Clarence Martin Lester Jr. Jordan Lester said his dad joined the force when he was in seventh grade. The deputy is a member of PBA’s Piedmont Chapter.

 

Jordan Lester and his family, including his father,  Spartanburg sheriff’s
Deputy First Class Clarence Lester, and his mother, Monica Lester

 

“From that time, I have gotten the privilege to witness the humble service he has continued to do till now,” he said. “Watching my father go out and serve the community has instilled a humble mindset of service and how important it is to care for people.”

 

Clarence Lester also serves as a pastor, almost 30 years. He sees his career in law enforcement as a similar calling.

 

“I see law enforcement as a calling,” he said. “When people are in trouble, they usually call the police or the pastor. I have been a licensed and ordained minister for 28 years. I enjoyed being involved in church ministry, but I see law enforcement as an opportunity to serve my community on a much greater scale.”

 

His specific duty gives him an even broader presence in the community – he’s an SRO, a role he seems to have been divinely guided into.

 

“I enjoy being a school resource officer,” said Lester. “My background is youth development, outreach and special victim’s unit investigator. That experience has equipped me with tools and resources to be able to serve my students, teachers and their families. I’m assigned to an elementary school so it’s all fist bumps, high fives and autograph Fridays.

 

Even as a child, Jordan Lester was able to recognize the impact his father had on the community.

 

“It takes a man that really cares about people to suit up and give everything to the people,” he said. “Although my dad has given me much wisdom and advice, he did not have to -- his actions have given me everything I need to know to navigate life. I am extremely honored to be a son of a police officer. It is because of my father that I am the man I am today.”

 

For Deputy Lester, he said he is proud to represent a voice for the most vulnerable in society.

 

“When I was an investigator assigned to the special victims unit, I investigated crimes against children and vulnerable adults,” said Lester. “My most memorable were two cases where I charged two suspects with assault on a child. One ended up in prison and the other did jail time. Law enforcement is the voice of the voiceless. Oftentimes, children don’t have much of a voice when it comes to crimes perpetrated on them by adults.”

 

Deputy Lester and his wife, Monica, are proud of their son’s successes in academics and soccer but even more so of the character he is developing.

 

Jordan Lester and his proud father, Spartanburg sheriff’s Deputy First Class Clarence Lester

 

“He is successful on and off the field – team captain as high school sophomore, Honors Society with 4.4 GPA, All-Region, All-Region Player of the Year, All-State, All-Area Player to Watch and Clash of the Carolinas,” said Lester.

 

His son also scored 17 goals in his junior year.

 

“Random people would approach me and tell me how respectful and how much of a great leader Jordan is,” Lester said. “I would tell them that I tell Jordan that his character is more important than any goals he kicks. Your character will be with you for a lifetime.”

 

Jordan Lester and his parents as he is presented with his scholarship check by
PBF Director of Foundation and Media Relations, Randy Byrd

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