People of HSJI: Profile of Jorge Godoy

Jorge Godoy, 16, poses for a picture during the HSJI Feature Writing class. Jorge goes to Muchin College Prep and lives on the south side of Chicago with his mother, father, sisters, and chihuahua named Friday.

Jorge Godoy only wakes up for long enough in the morning to endure the 18-block trudge to the L-station with his little sister and to get on the Orange-Line train headed towards his school.

“Things stress me out,” Jorge, 16, says about his life on the Southside of Chicago. “I usually quit on things (that I’m working on). I want to relax, so I stop.”

As soon as his head hits the glass window of the train, Jorge knocks out again for the duration of the teetering, half-hour trip to school. However, when asked why he doesn’t worry about missing his stop, Jorge shrugs and says, “my sister will always wake me up in time.”

As much as life seems to pummel him and tire him out, Jorge, like many ordinary teens, has a circle of people in his life that lift him up and motivate him to get through the turmoil of high school each day.

This outpouring of support begins as Jorge walks into the World History class of his favorite teacher, Mr. Underwood, every morning. “Mr. Underwood is the chill guy that you wanna know,” Jorge said. He said that in addition to Underwood’s relatable personality, “teachers like him make sure we’re on track and that we’re getting our assignments done.”’

After all of his classes end, Jorge heads to his beloved rugby practice. His school, Muchin College Prep, dismisses at 3:45 p.m., but lines getting out of the building are as congested as Chicago’s downtown traffic. Jorge has around 1,000 other students to deal with as he makes his way to practice by 4 p.m. at the earliest. “It’s pretty diverse, though,” Jorge said about his classmates. “We get along pretty well.”

Jorge considers his rugby team, the Muchin Mountain Lions, to be a “second family.”

“[My teammates] all try to lift each other [up],” Jorge said. Once during a winter rugby practice in Chicago’s McKinley Park, he dressed in shorts and a t-shirt despite extremely cold temperatures. “They worried about me,” Jorge said. Jorge’s teammates offered to let Jorge borrow their own long pants, so that he could be warm during the intense practice. Jorge accepted. “They are like my family,” he said.

Jorge’s rugby teammates also give him the tough love that he needs during rough times.

“I sprained my ankle and got tackled twice in the same game,” Jorge said. “My friend was already stressed enough about the game because we were losing 80-0. He said to me, ‘You’re already hurt Jorge? You just got in!’ By yelling at me like that, in a way, I think he was trying to motivate me not to quit. Rugby is an intense sport; we just gotta take the hits.”

After a hard rugby practice, Jorge catches the L-train home where his mom, dad, and four sisters are waiting. “My sibling are all two years apart,” Jorge said, “but my favorite sister is Yazmin. We are the troublemakers. We roast the whole family.”

“My mom makes mole that is not too spicy, and Friday night is card game night- we can play Uno until ten or eleven.” he said.

Jorge counts on the fact that when he comes home, he will feel relief after a demanding day.

“My favorite part of my life is when my family is eating together and we get to laugh,” Jorge said.