Tony "Polo" Jordan, Founder & Chief
Founder & Director of Programs
Tony Jordan is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of AWOL All Walks of Life, Inc. He also serves as the Director of Programs enlisting dozens of youth into various program each year. Tony founded the organization in 1997 as a student as Savannah State University. What first began as just a group of friends and like-minded individuals that all shared a love for Hip-Hop culture, grew into one of Savannah’s leading spoken word and Hip-Hop based arts organizations.
After leaving school, Tony worked for 10 years with at-risk youth in mental health facilities and throughout the juvenile justice system. Frustrated by what he saw, and reminded of his own troubled childhood, Tony decided to focus AWOL’s mission on providing arts and education for local youth. Growing up, Tony’s father was absent from his life and after his brother was brutally gunned down in the streets of Washington, DC, his mother sent him to live with family members in South Carolina where he continued to get into trouble. Tony was expelled from the local high school, and forced to attend and graduate from an alternative school. With the memories of his childhood haunting him, Tony wanted to do more. In 2003, alongside his wife, DaVena, who serves as the agency’s Executive Director, AWOL became incorporated as Savannah’s first federally recognized spoken word and Hip-Hop based youth development agency. AWOL provides youth with arts and technology based training programs during the hours most relevant to them, after school and at night, when they are statistically most likely to get in trouble. AWOL has provided services to over 300 youth and encountered thousands of proud parents and community members through youth art shows, theater productions and other events. AWOL has been featured in dozens of local magazines and featured in two national publications, Edutopia, an education journal, and Black Enterprise magazine. In recognition of his work and the success of the organization as a whole, Tony has received The Comcast Leadership Award through the City Year program, and was also named to Georgia Trend’s “Best & Brightest” 40 Under 40 in 2008.