A teenager runs cross-country. Literally, across the country
Here we are (some of us) having just finished following the news of the 16-year-old who tried to become the youngest ever to sail around the world, when word comes now that a 17-year-old woman who is about to finish a 3,200-mile run from Los Angeles to Manhattan.
Jasmine “Jazzy” Jordan is scheduled to reach Times Square tomorrow, completing the on-foot trek she began September, 2009.
U.S. Secretary Ray LaHood calls her “a true American hero” on his blog. He says she’s the youngest person to ever reach this goal.
Jordan, whose parents own a trucking company in Minnesota, is making the journey to raise funds and awareness for St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund, which provides financial assistance to drivers who have medical problems and can’t afford health care.
It looks like she’ll make it, which will be good news, providing a contrast to the journey of Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old California teen whose bid to become the youngest ever to sail solo around the world was cut short when a wave snapped her boat’s mast in the Indian Ocean. She was rescued Saturday by a French fishing boat.
Sunderland’s adventure raised the usual questions about how responsible it is to let a teen try a round-the-world sail. But Sunderland and her father have defended her decision. On her blog, the teenager asked, “since when does age create gigantic waves and storms?”
None of this is to say that sailing around the world and running across the country are comparable feats. Nor am I trying to trivialize what Sunderland did accomplish — and what she might have completed had she not met with perils that any open-ocean sailor might face.
But Jordan’s expected arrival tomorrow appears on track to give us a completed journey we can applaud, and offers another reminder of what teenagers can accomplish.
You can follow her progress on her facebook page here.