Back in October, Noble was awarded the City of Fresno Disability Advisory Commission’s 14th Annual Achievement Award for outstanding and dedicated service to improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Noble was nominated for the award by Dr. Alicia Becton, Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation at the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.
Jordan Noble was only 25 years old when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She was working for Fresno Unified School District in the Special Education Department at the time and holding down three different jobs.
Shortly after the diagnosis, she began to struggle with walking and standing. She was falling down more than usual.
“After I got the diagnosis, the progression of the disease was a lot quicker than doctors were expecting,”– Noble.
As a result, Noble’s life changed faster than she anticipated. She had to purchase a wheelchair and come to grips with the effects of having a disability. She had to put aside her plans to adjust to a new lifestyle by requesting accommodations and resources.
“The biggest test for me was learning to find myself after becoming disabled. Who I was as a person changed fundamentally.”– Noble.
Noble, now 37, could’ve used her diagnosis as a reason to give up on life; instead, she used it as motivation to help others with disabilities. Now, her accomplishments have been recognized by the City of Fresno.
Noble’s diagnosis forced her to open a case with the California Department of Rehabilitation to explore her options and determine what services were available to assist her. It also served as a secret blessing, one she never imagined at the time.
She spent the next several years picking up the pieces of her broken education by attending Fresno City College. After she finished her education, Noble transferred to Fresno State. It was then that her new passion started to surface.
Noble began interning with Resources for Independence Central Valley (RICV) as a Youth Empowerment Specialist when she bumped into Dr. Becton, who was at the time the RICV Board President. She expressed to Dr. Becton her interest in becoming a counselor, and after that, the rest is history. Mentorship, community connections, and support were key pieces to Noble thriving in her endeavors.
Noble enrolled in the Masters of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program at Fresno State. Things quickly began to change for her.
“If it weren’t for Fresno State, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”– Noble.
Dr. Alicia Becton, Sarah Harris, Dr. Yuleinys Castillo, and Aubrey Alfano wrote the inspiring letters of recommendation that eventually garnered Noble the DAC Achievement Award.
With her new award firmly in hand, Noble has future aspirations of working for the California Department of Rehabilitation. She hopes to assist others who also identify with having disabilities while also limiting her work to part-time so she can focus on family.
Until then, Noble’s award will continue to uplift her family, friends, and the community.
“All that means to me is that everybody else needs to step their game up.”– Noble.
(Written by staff members at the Kremen School of Education and Human Development)