Impact is a word frequently heard in connection with M.O.R.E., a mentorship organization for young black men in Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS).
The three young men receiving the A. Chris Nelms – 2021 M.O.R.E. Man of the Year awards — Martez Ward, Jordan Ware and Ke'Orland Harrison — have strongly impacted their schools and communities in positive ways.
M.O.R.E., which stands for Men Organized, Respectful and Educated, strives to change the lives of young men and how they are viewed.
The award is named for A. Chris Nelms, a CPS graduate and a Cincinnati Board of Education member from 2008 until his death in 2017. Mr. Nelms, who spent 25 years as a CPS teacher, coach and athletic director, was a driving force behind the M.O.R.E. program and its reach to more than 600 young men in grades 4–12 within Cincinnati Public Schools.
The 2021 recipients embody everything that Chris Nelms wanted to see in the young men who wear the M.O.R.E. white dress shirts and orange-and-blue striped ties, said William Johnson, CPS' M.O.R.E. coordinator.
This award, now in its third year, is earned by an elementary school student, a junior high student, and a high school student. The 2021 awards were presented to the respective recipients June 2.
To earn the M.O.R.E. Man of the Year Award, a student must have:
- A and B Honor Roll ranking in all four quarters of current school year
- No suspensions in all four quarters
- A teacher's recommendation
- Participation in a community service project
- Additional awards or recommendations are considered.
The 2021 recipients:
Martez Ward — 6th grader — Sands Montessori School
Martez Ward embodies the acronym Men, Organized, Respected and Educated.
This past year, in the midst of a pandemic, Martez took on the primary responsibility as a Fuel up to Play 60 Ambassador. Fuel up to Play 60 Ambassadors are select champions for student wellness in schools. He worked with educators, cafeteria staff and other student leaders to make healthy changes in our school. He collaborated with other ambassadors to create video morning announcements that focused on healthy eating habits and exercise. He encouraged students to submit healthy recipes, allowing the entire student body to participate in a community-wide project. He organized more than 132 recipes, to create the Sands Montessori cookbook. The cookbook will be shared with Sands families and the entire school district. He volunteered to be a SOARING Eagle announcer and is a member of the student council.
His demonstration of leadership and vision has made a positive impact in Sands’ school community and we have no doubt this will continue to middle school, high school, university and beyond.
Jordan Ware — 7th grader — Gilbert A. Dater High School
Jordan Ware is a bright young man who works very hard in the classroom. He has shown tremendous leadership throughout the 2020–21 school year.
He has been a great example for his classmates as well as the young men for M.O.R.E. at Dater High School. We all commend Jordan for his commitment, respect and leadership!
Ke'Orland Harrison — 12th grader — Western Hills University High School
Ke'Orland is a true treasure to the M.O.R.E. Program and Western Hills High School community.
Ke'Orland is a member of National Honor Society, Western Hills High School Student Ambassadors.
Ke'Orland was selected as Fire Cadet of Cincinnati for the summer of 2021.
He was an "A" honor roll student throughout the school year, while maintaining his position in the top 10 percent of his graduating class.
Ke'Orland is conscientious and very dependable.