When I think about the qualities that make up a gentleman, I think about Jared Midwood. As I’ve gotten to know Jared over the past three years, I have observed his respect for people, sacrificial nature, and his unflinching commitment to others, even when times get tough.
In January of 2016, I told Jared that I wanted to volunteer with a nonprofit “down the street.” For my vehicle-less self, that meant a brutal forty-five minute walk in the darkness on Thursday nights. Jared not only agreed to walk 45 minutes with me to the charity, he also decided to volunteer at the ESL program. Even when the blizzard of ’16 hit Virginia, he still made that 45 minute walk with me through the freezing temperatures and icy, treacherous sidewalks. His commitment to me has never wavered. To this day, he refuses to let me walk on the street-side of the sidewalk when cars are whizzing by and he always grabs my backpack when he sees it weighing me down.
But Jared’s gentlemanly behavior does not end with me. A growing number of people have been blessed by Jared’s big heart and personality. Every Saturday, he joyfully drives an hour to work in a therapy program with an autistic child, and I think that might be his favorite time of the week. He led International Justice Mission meetings when the club still had a strong presence on campus. He’s quick to notice when people are feeling down, and he intentionally makes a point to reach out to them. I’m always surprised when he initiates a discussion with someone else about their favorite team or their hometown; he remembers the small details about others.
For these reasons and more, I believe that Jared Midwood exemplifies the essence of a gentleman and deserves to win NeW’s Gentleman Showcase award.